The widow of Kobe Bryant has published the names of Los Angeles County police officers who she said shared graphic photos of the scene of her husband’s death in a helicopter crash last year.
Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for negligence and invasion of privacy.
“We will refrain from trying this case in the media,” the sheriff said in response.
Basketball star Bryant died with his daughter and seven others in the crash.
On Wednesday Vanessa Bryant, 38, posted on Instagram the names of four sheriff’s deputies.
She says they took graphic pictures of the nine people who died in the crash close to Calabasas, California, in January last year.
She alleges that one of the officers shared with a bartender photos of Kobe Bryant’s body and the others distributed “gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches”.
The Los Angeles Times newspaper reported in February last year that an internal police investigation found officers shared photos of victims’ remains.
She claims the pictures, including those of her 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were taken and shared “for no reason other than morbid gossip”.
Last week a judge rejected an attempt to stop publication of the officer’s names, allowing Bryant to disclose them.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva responded on Twitter to Bryant’s post, saying that the department would wait for a court to decide the outcome of the case.
We will refrain from trying this case in the media and will wait for the appropriate venue. Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this tragedy.
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) March 18, 2021