Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball star Kobe Bryant, is receiving pushback from Los Angeles County in the aftermath of her husband’s death. Vanessa filed a federal lawsuit against the county alleging invasion of privacy and claimed in court papers she experienced “severe emotional distress” after the deaths of her husband and 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
As a result, “Los Angeles County is seeking to compel psychiatric evaluations for Kobe Bryant’s widow and others to determine if they truly suffered emotional distress after first responders took and shared graphic photos from the site of the 2020 helicopter crash” reports The Washington Times.
The widow’s lawsuit states first responders such as firefighters and sheriff’s deputies took photos of the devastating scene and then shared the photographs of Bryant’s body. As the Los Angeles Times first reported, a sheriff’s department internal investigation found evidence that deputies had indeed shared photos of the victims’ remains.
The Washington Times writes the individuals “shared photographs of Kobe Bryant’s body with a bartender and passed around ‘gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents and coaches.” The crash occurred on January 26, 2020, killing Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven others.
The helicopter was headed to a girls basketball tournament when it crashed in the hills west of Los Angeles in foggy weather. Federal safety officials blamed the wreck on pilot error.
Los Angeles County attorneys are asking for the court to order Vanessa and other family members of the crash victims, “including children, to undergo psychiatric evaluations as independent medical examinations. The lawyers propose that the evaluations are audio- and vide-recorded and last eight hours for adults and four to six hours for children” reports the Times.
Vanessa’s lawsuit prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to approve legislation last year making it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at scenes of accidents or crimes.
Court documents say “Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”
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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.
Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.
“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”
Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”
The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”
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