LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash scene where Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed, according to a newspaper report.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a public safety source with knowledge of the events had seen one of the photos on the phone of another official in a setting that was not related to the investigation of the crash. He said the photos showed the scene and victims’ remains.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the allegations.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Maria Lucero told The Associated Press on Friday that “the matter is being looked into.”
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies, declined to comment specifically on the allegations.
“As with all investigations, we will aggressively represent our members and preserve their rights,” the union said in a statement Friday.
The Times reported that it’s unclear how widely the photos might have been disseminated and who was involved. It’s additionally unclear whether the deputies had taken the photos themselves or received them from someone else.
Capt. Jorge Valdez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said the department had contacted the victims’ families because of the newspaper’s inquiries.
Bryant and the others were killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles were traveling to a youth basketball tournament at Bryant’s sports facility in Thousand Oaks. The cause of the crash is undetermined.