Vanessa Bryant takes to social media to reveal the deputies’ names who took pictures of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash and showed them off after winning a lawsuit seeking to remove protections that would keep their names classified.
A little over a year ago, the world was stunned as Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were announced dead following a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. While we were all heartbroken trying to make sense of the entire situation, rumors began making their way online that deputies had taken pictures of the gruesome crash site and shared them with various people. Shortly after, it was confirmed this did, in fact, happen, and some of the deputies showed pictures to people at bars with some seriously disturbing plan to gain clout.
Vanessa Bryant recently won her lawsuit to be able to name the people who took the pictures and according to Complex, she finally took to Instagram where she posted pictures from the suit and revealed the officer’s names once and for all.
The suit lists those officers as Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell, and Raul Versales.
According to the legal documents, officer Russell, who was not directly involved with the investigation, had obtained the photos and shared them “with a personal friend with whom he played video games with every night.” Russell allegedly received the photos via text from Cruz, a deputy trainee who responded to the deadly accident.
“At some point during his shift, Cruz obtained multiple photographs of the Bryants’ remains on his personal cell phone,” the lawsuit states. “After obtained photos … Cruz shared them with multiple individuals without any legitimate governmental purpose, including several members of the public.”
Cruz is also accused of showing the photos to his niece as well as a bartender in Norwalk, California.
This isn’t just a gross misstep or a simple mistake, this is a window into the type of decision a person makes regularly when they feel no accountability for their actions. Even with the sheriff’s department apologizing for the situation, this still isn’t enough accountability for the actions performed by people in place to protect our communities.
Prayers up for the Bryant family!