5:45 PM PT — Kim just posted a photo with Kevin Cooper taken from behind bars, and it appears to have been taken with the camera provided by the prison.
Along with the photos, she said, “I had an emotional meeting with Kevin Cooper yesterday at San Quentin’s death row. I found him to be thoughtful and honest and I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted.”
Kim Kardashian and her team of attorneys are claiming they had nothing to do with the photos taken outside of San Quentin State Prison, however officials are looking into who coordinated the shoot and also on the hunt for other footage that may have been taken on state property.
Sources familiar with the situation tell The Blast, Kim got permission to visit inmate Kevin Cooper solely in the capacity of an attorney visit, based upon the reality star interning at the law firm in San Francisco that is representing him.
We’re told it was surprising to officials that photos popped up showing Kim and company making their way into the visitor’s center entrance of the California penitentiary, especially considering photos and video taken anywhere on state property is prohibited without permission. The parking lot is still considered part of the prison and covered by the same rules.
We’re told Kim, and Cooper’s legal team, are claiming they did not take any photos from the parking lot and are instead pointing the finger at a paparazzi agency who just so happened to be outside the penitentiary at the exact same time the reality star made her way inside.
Sources close to the paparazzi agency tell The Blast they were not tipped off by anyone from Kim’s camp, and the photographer believes they were shooting from a legal area.
However, we’re also told there may have been footage taken by Kim’s team inside the grounds of the facility, including inside the prison, and officials are looking into the matter.
According to the official California Department of Corrections guidelines for visiting inmates, “Prison visiting rooms have digital cameras available for photographs of prisoners and/or their visitors to be taken.” Sources familiar with the rules tell us any other type of footage can only be obtained after permission is given from the facility.
The Inmate Visiting Guide also makes it very clear that, “Visitors violating a policy, regulation, or law are subject to denial, suspension, or revocation of a visit.”
Kim has been pushing for DNA testing that may prove Cooper was wrongfully convicted since last year when she tweeted at then-Governor Jerry Brown for help. Brown did not respond to the star, but new California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered additional testing back in March. Those results have not yet been revealed.
Cooper was convicted in 1985 of murdering 4 people, including two 10-year-old children, but has maintained his innocence.
If in fact, there was footage taken on the grounds of San Quentin without permission, it will unfortunately draw more criticism for the reality star by those who believe her quest for prison reform is more about publicity for herself rather than justice for the wrongly convicted.
Reps for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tell The Blast, “We are unable to confirm visits to inmates due to privacy.”