California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Tuesday prohibiting first responders from taking photographs of accident scenes, a law prompted by the death of NBA star Kobe Bryant.
The law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, will make it a misdemeanor crime for anyone who “responds to the scene of an accident or crime” to take a photograph of a deceased person for any purpose unrelated to law enforcement or the “genuine public interest.”
First responders convicted of violating the law could face fines of up to $1,000 per offense.
The legislation was drafted after eight deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office were placed under investigation after photographs of Bryant’s remains were shared after he died alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven others while en route to a basketball tournament earlier this year. At the time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that he was “horrified” to hear that his deputies were accused of sharing the photographs and ordered them to be deleted.
The incident prompted a lawsuit from Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant. The lawsuit, which was filed last week, accused the department of negligence, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and requested damages on behalf of the family.
Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gipson, the state lawmaker who introduced the legislation, said it was “unconscionable” for first responders to violate the privacy of victims in that way.
“Our first responders, when responding to an emergency, should not be taking very sensitive photographs … for their own gain, for their own pleasure,” Gipson said.
Tags: News, Gavin Newsom, Kobe Bryant, Law Enforcement
Original Author: Madison Dibble
Original Location: California governor signs law forbidding first responders from taking photographs following death of Kobe Bryant