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California to Enforce A New Bill Following the Death of Kobe Bryant

Published 05/08/2020, 5:08 AM EDT

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Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant passed away in January. He was aboard a helicopter with his daughter Gianna and seven others when the pilot lost control and crashed in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

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The tragic accident sent shockwaves around the world, leaving millions mourning over the loss of their dear star. The first respondents, upon confirming the death of every passenger on board, took photos of the horrific crash and circulated them online. This has now led the Assembly members to force a new bill upon California legislators.

California lawmaker wants to enforce a new bill following the death of Kobe Bryant


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Assembly Member Mike Gipson has introduced a new bill titled “Invasion of Privacy: First Responders.” This law deems it illegal for first respondents to share the pictures clicked at a crime scene. Should it become a law, the punishment would be a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The Bill states that the purpose of the pictures should only be for investigatory purposes, and nothing else.

Gipson, a Democrat, highly condemns the act. “Our first responders, when responding to an emergency, should not be taking very sensitive photographs… for their own gain, for their own pleasure.”


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The bill is now before the Public Safety Committee. This comes as a result of several first respondents clicking and circulating the pictures from the crash that caused Kobe’s death. The widespread reach of the photos did not sit well with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. He asked his deputies to delete the gruesome photos from their phones at once. 

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“We’ve communicated in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable,” Villanueva said in March. “I mean, people are grieving for the loss of their loved ones. And to think any member of our department would be involved in that.”

Vanessa Bryant shared her outrage when she came to know about the circulation of the photos online. She had just lost her beloved husband and her teenage daughter in the crash. Gary C. Robb, Vanessa’s attorney, released a statement in March regarding the issue. “We are demanding that those responsible for these alleged actions face the harshest possible discipline and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated,” he said.



Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.