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Report: 2 LA County Firefighters May Be Fired For Sharing Kobe Bryant Crash Photos

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Two Los Angeles County firefighters may lose their jobs for sharing photos of the scene of the January 2020 helicopter crash which killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

NTSB Investigators Continue To Work On Site Of Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash
CALABASAS, CA - JANUARY 28: Investigators work at the scene of the helicopter crash, where former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died, on January 28, 2020 in Calabasas, California. Kobe and "Gigi" were among nine people were perished in the crash as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

ESPN obtained court documents filed Monday by Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, as part of her ongoing federal invasion of privacy lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

The documents purportedly detail an internal investigation conducted by the L.A. County Fire Department which allegedly determined that two firefighters took photos of the bodies, which they sent to a third firefighter who worked in the department's media relations office, ESPN reports.

The two firefighters also allegedly shared the images with others at a fire department awards ceremony at a Hilton hotel a month after the crash, according to the documents obtained by ESPN.

The two firefighters in question received letters from the LACFD in December stating that the department intended to fire them. The third firefighter received a letter stating that he would be suspended.

It's unclear what the employment status of the three firefighters was as of Wednesday.

In March of 2020, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva admitted that eight deputies were involved in the sharing of graphic photos of the helicopter crash.

Vanessa Bryant filed a federal lawsuit in September of 2020, alleging that several L.A. County Sheriff's deputies had taken photos of the crash site. The lawsuit alleges there has been no accountability, no formal investigation and no disciplinary action against the deputies.

In March, she filed an amended lawsuit which publicly named four of the involved deputies. Earlier this month, the county filed a claim alleging that Bryant had no legal basis for her lawsuit.

Also in September of 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that makes it a misdemeanor for first responders to take and share accident and crime scene photos for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or a genuine public interest.

On the morning of Jan. 26, 2020, Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the Calabasas hills amid heavy fog.

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