Los Angeles County Sheriff Issues Apology Over Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Photos

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Chief Jorge Valdez apologized to late NBA star Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and Christopher Chester during Tuesday’s testimony regarding photographs taken of human remains discovered at the helicopter crash site.

Chester and Bryant are suing Los Angeles County after officers reportedly took and improperly shared photographs of the human remains discovered at the site of a fatal helicopter crash in January 2020.

Valdez apologized to Bryant and Chester from the witness stand after he was pressed about alleged lies he told a reporter about the photographs in February 2020, Law and Crime reported.

He offered his “utmost condolences” to the pair, noting that he had only just learned from Chester’s lawyer that neither had ever received an apology from anyone within LA County, according to Law and Crime. Chester lost his wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton in the crash, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Soldier Dies At Army Base After Incident Between Two Helicopters)

The graphic images contained Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna’s remains, which were allegedly shared between LA County sheriffs, according to ABC7. One of the deputies was accused of showing the images to a local bartender, who later told authorities about the incident, the outlet reported.

Bryant’s lawyer had previously described the images shared between the officers as “pictures of broken bodies, close-ups of limbs and burnt flesh.” Eight deputies were reportedly at the scene of the crash taking photographs of the deceased on their cell phones.