Vanessa Bryant has publicly named the four sheriff’s deputies who allegedly took and shared unauthorized and graphic photos of the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, as well as their daughter Gianna, and seven others. Bryant shared screenshots on Instagram of the legal complaint she has filed against Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department, the county fire department, and the four deputies, Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell, and Raul Versales. Bryant’s posts come after a judge ruled last week that the names of the deputies do not have to remain sealed.
According to the filing, Bryant had requested that the crash site be secured for privacy on the morning of the accident, but “sheriff’s deputies who responded to the crash used personal cell phones to take gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches.” The filing then claims that, although the deputies had “no legitimate governmental use of the photos,” they spread the photos within the sheriff’s department as well as shared them with unauthorized people, including family members, and “boasted” of their connection to the case. Bryant posted no caption along with the screenshots, but did outline the names of the deputies in red.