According to the documents, Deputy Mejia was one of the many officers who was on the crash site on January 26th.Mejia allegedly took pictures of the scene on his personal mobile phone and sent them to the personal cell phones of two deputies.
During the course of the investigation, the lawsuit states Mejia admitted to investigators that he took and shared the photos without any legitimate governmental purpose, explaining that their curiosity got the best of them.
Likewise, the documents alleged Cruz, a rookie who stood guard at the crash site, shared the unauthorized photos with several members of the public, including a relative of his.
Additionally, Cruz is said to have bragged about guarding the crash site to patrons of a Norwalk bar, before showing the graphic images to those around him, according to the documents.
A member of the public who was present later emailed a complaint to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. The documents outline how when Cruz learned of the complaint, he and numerous other sheriff deputies were instructed to delete the images and they would face no formal repercussions.
Deputy Russell was allegedly one of those individuals, having requested Cruz send him the photos taken at the crash site. Two days later, the documents state that Russell texted the photos to a personal pen friend.
Deputy Versales is also accused of sending the photos to multiple sheriff personnel, in addition to showing them to his wife.
The documents state that during the investigation all four of the deputies acknowledged having “negligently and/or willfully destroyed evidence” of the photos, which served no “legitimate governmental purpose.”
Additionally, the L.A. County Office of the Inspector General and the victims’ families were not informed of these phototograhs until It was released online.
Lastly, Vanessa’s legal representation alleges that the deputies and sheriff department officials’ efforts to hide the facts strongly suggests that their misconduct was more extensive than they have admitted.
Vanessa Bryant has suffered severe emotional distress from the knowledge that images of her husband’s and daughter’s remains were taken and shared for the gratification of law enforcement officers, and she fears that she and her family may confront the appalling photos at any moment on the internet.
As a result, Vanessa requests penal and as well as payment of her attorneys.