The LA Times reports that “two public safety sources” indicated that Los Angeles County sherriff’s deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash site that killed nine people, including Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
One of the sources told The Times that the sharing of photos of the crash scene and the victims’ remains was the topic of a discussion among first responders two days after the crash. The source said he saw one of the photos on the phone of another official, in a setting that had nothing to do with the investigation of the crash. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.
The Sheriff’s Department hasn’t revealed too much about the matter but they eventually told the paper the “matter is being looked into.” Even though he was “unaware of any complaint,”Capt. Jorge Valdez revealed that he notified the families of the victims on Wednesday but they did so because the LA Times was inquiring about the photos instead of any inner investigative reason.
Los Angeles in particular has a history of law enforcement sharing personal info about celebrities to the press. The Times included two examples such as Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic drunk driving arrest as well as a photo being leaked of Rihanna when Chris Brown beat her. But when it comes to celebrity news, and bad news in particular, nothing is really a secret in LA.
Just look at how news came out that day. TMZ seemed to be on the story before most others and were getting things correct that other news networks like ABC weren’t. More than likely, TMZ’s source had to have not only been at the crash site but be a big part of the investigation because they were getting a bunch of details right. Many blamed the media for reporting what was going on before the victims families were notified as well as getting things wrong in the process, and that’s fair. But it also takes two to tango and someone was clearly looking to let the media, specifically a tabloid like TMZ, know about what was going on at the Calabasas hillside that day. It’s a “chicken and egg” situation.