Outraged by allegations that Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies shared photos from the site of a helicopter crash that killed Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others, a California lawmaker wants to make it a crime for law enforcement officers to take unauthorized photographs of those killed in accidents and crimes.
State Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) has introduced legislation that would make it a misdemeanor with punishment of up to a year in jail and as much as $5,000 in fines for a first responder to use a smartphone or other device to photograph a deceased person for any purpose other than official law enforcement business.
“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 Tuesday. “It was unconscionable. It’s not right.”
Assembly Bill 2655, which was introduced this week, would outlaw acts that violate the privacy of deceased victims and apply to all first responders acting under color of authority, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters and medical examiners.