It’s been over a year since the legendary Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were fatally killed in a helicopter accident.
Thanks to Vanessa Bryant, those responsible for sharing pictures of the crash site will be identified. The deputies who posted the graphic photos of the accident will have their names exposed to the public, according to a judge who recently ruled in favor of Vanessa Bryant’s complaint.
Los Angeles County attorneys attempted to keep all the identities of the deputies responsible for sharing Kobe Bryant’s crash site photo sealed from the public, but U.S. District Judge John F. Walter officially denied their request. Now that the decision is final, Vanessa Bryant will proceed with amending her civil rights case against L.A. County and the local Sheriff’s Department, which is led by Alex Villanueva, to include the names of the deputies, as well as information from the internal affairs investigation into their actions.
Meanwhile, the deputies’ attorneys argued that releasing their clients’ names and personal information would expose them to cyber hackers and public scrutiny; the judge disagreed, siding with Vanessa instead.
Judge Walter wrote, “Sheriff Villanueva’s promise to publicly release the [internal affairs bureau] report after the conclusion of the investigation undermines Defendants’ purported concern in the disclosure of the limited excerpts at issue here.”
He went on to say that there is a “solid presumption of access as a starting point,” and that the county has struggled to demonstrate valid reasons to deny access.
Attorneys for Los Angeles County have four days to appeal the judge’s decision.