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Sheriff Alex Villaneuva’s directive to deputies to delete any photos on their cellphones of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene may constitute an order to destroy evidence and could lead to their arrest, a now former Lost Hills station captain warned his bosses, according to court papers filed Monday.
Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant suing Los Angeles County over deputies and firefighters who allegedly shared grim photos of the helicopter crash revealed Monday that the station captain at the time had advised and tried to block the sheriff’s directive to all personnel to delete the images in an effort to stop their potential destruction. The crash killed the Lakers star, his daughter Gianna and seven others.
The latest documents filed in the lawsuit alleges that information gathered from internal affairs documents turned over to Vanessa Bryant’s legal team involve the sheriff’s statement to underlings that if they came clean and deleted any photos in their possession, they would not be punished.
The former captain of the Lost Hills station halted the order to delete the photos and called his supervisor to express concern that the sheriff’s order might constitute an instruction to destroy evidence, according to the filing. The captain told his boss “the last time our deputies got instructions from our executives” of a similar nature “they were arrested and tried for crimes,” according to the court filing based on internal affairs documents.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.
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