Why should taxpayers pay $31 million for Kobe Bryant’s crash site photos?

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, left a federal courthouse in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 24, 2020. A jury ordered her and another man to pay her $31 million in damages for graphic photos taken by her sheriff's deputy and firefighters in the 2020 helicopter crash. The scene that killed Bryant, his daughter, and seven others.

Vanessa Bryant left a Los Angeles court on Wednesday after a jury awarded her and another man $31 million in damages. (Robert Gautier/Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am happy to read Vanessa Bryant and the other plaintiff. Won $31 million in lawsuit against Los Angeles County About the sheriff’s deputy and firefighter who took and shared photos of Kobe Bryant and other victims of the 2020 helicopter crash.

Who would think it would be acceptable to share gruesome pictures of dead people, especially when children are involved? Stains on county fire and sheriff departments.

What bothers me is that we, the taxpayers, have to waste this $31 million. how fair is that? Why should our tax dollars be used to pay for someone else’s gross and willful misdeeds? Shouldn’t the entities involved somehow try to raise this money?

Linda Cooper, Studio City


To the editor: As a taxpayer, I am appalled at the failure of LA County to properly respond to Bryant’s claim for damages resulting from the somewhat limited distribution of photos of her late husband’s crash site.

The photos may technically infringe on her privacy rights, but as someone who often stays in the public eye, it’s such a terrifying feeling that limited exposure actually receives millions of dollars in compensation. I don’t think she can claim to have caused physical damage.

I would like to appeal the award.

Michael Arnstoff, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared los angeles times.