The tragic death of Kobe Bryant is bringing about real change in California.
On Monday, September 28, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a new measure that says it’s now a crime to take unauthorized pictures of a dead person at an accident scene.
The “Kobe Bryant Law” — which takes effect on January 1 — was brought about in the the aftermath of the basketball star’s helicopter crash when eight local deputies were accused of taking or sharing death pics for unofficial business. According to TMZ, one deputy was even accused of using a former Lakers player’s death photo to try and pick up a woman at a bar.
The new bill makes it a misdemeanor for a first responder to take or share pics from an accident or crime scene for any purpose outside official law enforcement or genuine public interest.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people were killed on January 26 when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Calif.
The athlete’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has already filed a lawsuit against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office over the alleged accident photo scandal. Vanessa is suing for negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“No fewer than 8 sheriff’s deputies at the crash site, pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches,” the lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ read. “The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”
The 38-year-old also claimed that one of the officers showed the disturbing photos of her late husband and daughter to a woman at a bar. The bartender told the authorities what had happened.
“Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online,” the documents read.
Since her husband’s untimely death, Bryant has been spending lots of time with her three daughters — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3 and Capri, 14 months. On September 21, she shared a photo of her kiddos, writing, “Love my babies. #GirlMom.”
In August, Bryant wrote a heartfelt note to the late athlete. “I wish I could make your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi,” she said in honor of his birthday. “I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh.
“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters’ days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are.”
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