Police Criticize TMZ for Reporting Bryant’s Death Before Family Informed

As someone who reports the news, I know how important it is to get a story out as soon as possible in order to inform people and draw in readers. However, some media sources do not care who they may hurt in the process of being the first source to report something.

TMZ, for example, reported on the death of Kobe Bryant before his family was even informed. Could you imagine being his wife and turning on the television or scrolling through Facebook and finding out that you just lost your husband and young daughter?

What a terrible way to find out. Not are their deaths heartbreaking, but to find out that was is so terribly insensitive.

The Los Angeles law enforcement officials have heavily scolded the celebrity news outlet for reporting on the helicopter crash before the family was notified.

The Hill reports:

According to CNN, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva knocked 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," Villanueva said. "That is just wholly inappropriate."

Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami ‏said later on Sunday that he was also “saddened that I was gathering facts as a media outlet reported that Kobe had passed.”

“I understand getting the scoop but please allow us time to make personal notifications to their loved ones. It’s very cold to hear of the loss via media,” Murakami tweeted. “Breaks my heart.”

TMZ did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. 

The Hollywood Reporter editorial director Matthew Belloni told CNN that when it comes to the deaths of high-profile people, TMZ has an "in" with "the kinds of people who know this information.”

"If TMZ reports that a celebrity has died in Los Angeles County, it is almost always correct. For whatever reason, and you can read into this, their accuracy rate in Los Angeles is very, very good,” Belloni added.

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