When California Governor Gavin Newsom passed the Kobe Bryant Law back in September, he probably thought it was a big deal.
Sadly, it was anything but.
The law states that if any first responders to a crime scene took unauthorized photos, they could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of up to $1,000.
It’s nice that the government acknowledged that those actions are ‘not good,’ but it failed to recognize the amount of pain they cause.
Are they just finding another way to let off the police off easy? It appears that way when you research crimes with comparable punishments. Once again, the victims are forced to take matters into their own hands.
2020 started on a tragic note when Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people perished in a helicopter crash in January.
Some LA County Sheriffs, however, seemed to think it was funny.
According to TMZ, one deputy in training shared graphic photos of the crash at a bar in an attempt to impress a girl . The photos were reportedly being passed around at the LA Fire Department as well.
Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was “shocked and devastated” by the news, and she quickly hit the LA Sheriffs Department with a lawsuit.
Today, she was joined by Matthew Mauser. Mauser, whose wife Christina was also killed in the crash, is suing the same institution.
He claims that Sheriff Alex Villanueva did a poor job securing the area, which led to the aforementioned photos.
Mauser is suing for invasion of privacy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and more, for over $25,000.
Good for him, and good for Vanessa Bryant.
Imagine the devastation of knowing that your closest loved one just perished in a helicopter crash. Then imagine finding out that some cop took a photo of their remains, shared it with friends, and used it to try to impress a girl.
Now imagine that the government stepped and declared his actions were just slightly worse than jaywalking.
According to the California Government, these sheriff’s despicable actions are equal to shoplifting a sweater. Both actions can be charged as a misdemeanor in the state.
But these crimes are vastly different. There are no heartbroken, grieving family members involved with a stolen shirt. No store owner or corporation has ever been “shocked and devastated” by a $50 loss.
The fact is that sometimes people shoplift because they have no other choice. Nobody ever needs to take unauthorized photos of victims at a crime scene and spread them for their own delight.
And as we’ve already mentioned, someone could sell these types of photos for far more than that measly $1,000 (maximum) fine.
The Kobe Bryant tragedy has shown yet another light on how we treat and punish the police differently than we do normal citizens.
At least the victims are trying to do something about it.