Gov. Newsom signs new law prompted by photo scandal in crash that killed Kobe Bryant, 8 others in Calabasas

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Wreckage of the crashed helicopter that was carrying former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna smolders on the ground on Jan. 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California. According to reports, five people including Bryant and his daughter have been confirmed killed in the crash. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved legislation prompted by the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others in Calabasas earlier this year.

The bill signed Monday makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime.

Reports surfaced after the Jan. 26 crash that graphic photos of the victims were being shared by eight deputies.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the department has a policy against taking and sharing crime scene photos, but it does not apply to accident scenes.

Vanessa Bryant has sued the sheriff in a lawsuit seeking damages for negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Vanessa Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement.

“The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so,” Li wrote. “It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

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