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Kobe Bryant’s Remains Photos Shared For A Laugh - Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit Against LA County Sheriff's Department

A court has heard that photographs of the victim's corpses including, Kobe Bryant's remains photos shared for a laugh by Los Angeles county deputies and firefighters.

The sad car accident that took the lives of the NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant, who was 13 years old, occurred in the Calabasas hills to the west of Los Angeles in January of 2020.

After a deputy and firefighter who responded to the scene allegedly leaked photos from the crash site, the basketball star's widow Vanessa, who is 40 years old, filed a federal lawsuit against the LA County Sheriff's Department for invasion of privacy.

The lawsuit was filed against the LA County Sheriff's Department.

The attorney for Bryant, Luis Li, argued that the cell phone images taken at the scene of the incident by a deputy and a fire captain were "visual gossip" that was viewed "for a laugh" and served no official function.

Kobe Bryant’s Remains Shared ‘for A Laugh,’ Lawyer Claims

Kobe Bryant wearing a blue dotted shirt and smiling while looking up
Kobe Bryant wearing a blue dotted shirt and smiling while looking up

In his opening statement before the jury in the case of Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against the county for invasion of privacy.

Her attorney Luis Li told the jurors 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 was viewed "for a laugh," and that the photos served no official purpose.

"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 chaotic, dangerous, and difficult-to-reach crash scene in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles, an attorney for the county defended the taking of the photos as an essential tool for first-responders seeking to share information when they thought they might still save lives.

The attorney argued that the photos were an essential tool for first-responders seeking to share information when they thought they might still save lives.

"January 26th, 2020, was the worst day of Vanessa Bryant's life. The county made it much worse," Li said. "They poured salt in an open wound and rubbed it in."

Li showed the jury a security tape that showed an off-duty sheriff's deputy drinking at a pub and showing the images to the bartender, who was visibly shocked by what he saw.

After then, the attorney displayed a picture of the two laughing together at a later time.

Two weeks later, at an awards luncheon, Li showed the judges an interactive chart that documented how the phone images had travelled to nearly 30 people after they recounted firefighters glancing at the photos on their phones.

Vanessa Bryant "will be haunted by what they did forever," according to Li, because the county failed to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that every copy of the photo was accounted for.

Because of the fear that the photos will someday surface, and her surviving children may see them online.

Vanessa Bryant Sobs During Trial

An attorney for the county said that the photos were necessary for first responders to share information when they thought they could still save lives at the chaotic, dangerous, and hard-to-reach crash scene in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles.

During her lawyer's presentation, Vanessa Bryant cried a lot.

Even when she took a break a few minutes later, she was still wiping tears from her eyes.

Chris Chester, whose wife Sara and daughter Payton was also killed in the crash, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which wants an unspecified amount of money.

The county has already agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a similar case brought by two families whose relatives died in the crash on January 26, 2020.

Bryant and Chester turned down the offer to settle.

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and other parents and players were on a chartered helicopter that crashed in the fog on the way to a girls' basketball tournament.

Federal safety officials said the crash was caused by a mistake by the pilot.

Conclusion

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 bar patron who saw the photo sharing.

She said that the video was edited to make it look like the men were talking about Kobe Bryant's remains photos and shared it for a laugh.

She said that the deputy was having a hard time emotionally because of how hard it was to deal with the crash scene.

She also said that the bartender was a longtime friend of the deputies to who he was talking.

The lawyer for the defense asked the jury to put aside the pain of the people who brought the lawsuit and think about the case at hand.

About The Authors

Rhyley Carney

Rhyley Carney - Rhyley Carney is a New York Times bestselling author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content designer, and writing teacher/lecturer who has won five Bram Stoker Awards. More than a dozen countries have purchased her novels.

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