Kobe Bryant's Remains - Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit Against LA County Sheriff's Department For Invasion Of Privacy
A court has heard that Los Angeles county deputies and firefighters shared photos of the dead bodies, including Kobe Bryant's remains, to make people laugh.
In January 2020, the sad car accident that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant happened in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles.
After a deputy and firefighter who came to the scene are said to have leaked photos from the crash site, the basketball star's 40-year-old widow, Vanessa, sued the LA County Sheriff's Department in federal court for invasion of privacy.
The LA County Sheriff's Department was the target of the lawsuit.
The lawyer for Bryant, Luis Li, said that the cell phone pictures that a deputy and a fire captain took at the scene of the accident were just "visual gossip" that was looked at "for a laugh" and had no official purpose.
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LA County Sheriff's Department Shared Kobe Bryant's Remains "For A Laugh"
Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against LA County begins over Kobe Bryant crash photos
In his opening statement to the jury in Vanessa Bryant's case against the county for invading her privacy, the lawyer said.
Her lawyer, Luis Li, told the jury in the United States District Court that the cellphone photos taken at the scene of the crash by a deputy and a fire captain were "visual gossip" that were looked at "for a laugh" and had no official purpose.
"Deputies who were playing video games shared them," Li said. "They were sent over and over again to people who had no reason to get them.
"They were shared by deputies playing video games," Li said. "They were shared repeatedly with people who had absolutely no reason to receive them."
At the messy, dangerous, and hard-to-reach crash scene in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles, an attorney for the county defended the taking of photos as an important way for first responders to share information when they thought they could still save lives.
The lawyer said that the photos were an important way for first responders to share information when they still thought they could save lives.
"January 26, 2020, was Vanessa Bryant's worst day ever. "It got a lot worse because of the county," Li said. "They put salt on a wound that was already open and rubbed it in."
Li showed the jury a security tape of a sheriff's deputy drinking at a pub when he wasn't on duty and showing the images to the bartender, who looked shocked by what he saw.
The lawyer then showed a photo of the two of them laughing together at a later time.
Two weeks later, at an awards luncheon, Li showed the judges an interactive chart that showed how the phone images had spread to nearly 30 people after they heard that firefighters had looked at the photos on their phones.
Li says that Vanessa Bryant "will always be haunted by what they did" because the county didn't do a thorough enough investigation to make sure that every copy of the photo was found.
Because she is afraid that the photos will turn up again and that her children who are still alive will see them online.
Vanessa Bryant Cries In Court
At the chaotic, risky, and difficult-to-reach crash scene in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles, an attorney for the county stated that the photos were necessary for first responders to share information when they thought they could still save lives.
The attorney added that the photos were needed for this purpose.
Vanessa Bryant cried a lot when her lawyer talked about the case.
She was still wiping tears from her eyes when she took a break a few minutes later.
Chris Chester, whose wife Sara and daughter Payton were also killed in the crash, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which wants an unspecified amount of money.
Two families whose loved ones died in the crash on January 26, 2020, have already settled a similar case with the county for $2.5 million.
Bryant and Chester said no to the settlement offer.
On the way to a girls' basketball tournament, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and other parents and players were on a chartered helicopter that crashed in the fog.
Federal safety officials said that the pilot made a mistake that led to the crash.
Hashmall told the jury that Li had the video of the bartender to show because the Sheriff's Department got it the same day they got a complaint from another customer who saw the photo sharing.
She said that the video was changed to make it look like the men were talking about photos of Kobe Bryant's ashes, and she sent it to her friends to make them laugh.
She said the deputy was having a hard time on an emotional level because the crash scene was so hard to deal with.
She also said that the bartender had known the deputies with whom he was talking for a long time.
The lawyer for the defense asked the jury to think about the case at hand instead of the pain of the people who brought the lawsuit.