January 29, 2020
Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles have criticized TMZ for being the first to report of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter on Sunday, before police were able to notify his family of the tragedy.
Los Angeles police officers were working on notifying family members of victims and they are upset TMZ may have beat them to the punch by making the news public.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva questioned the news outlet at a press conference while explaining why officials didn’t release the identities of the nine people killed in the crash earlier in the day.
“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one … perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just wholly inappropriate.”
Levin defended his site, saying it dealt with the hoops star’s reps and got permission before going to press. “We dealt with Kobe’s people … and we were told very clearly that she had been notified,” Levin said, appearing to refer to Bryant’s widow, Vanessa.