VANESSA Bryant, the wife of the late Kobe Bryant and mom to Gianna, pressed charges against police who reportedly leaked photos following the horrific plane crash that killed her husband and daughter.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant died in January 2020 when their plane crashed in the hills overlooking Calabasas in California.
What are the leaked photos of Kobe Bryant at the helicopter crash site?
Vanessa Bryant testified against Los Angeles County on October 23, 2021, in a deposition hearing following a lawsuit she filed.
According to her testimony, she kept the clothes that Kobe and his daughter were wearing at the time of the crash.
She was allegedly also asked about the leaked photos of her husband that were posted to social media.
The 41-year-old NBA legend and his daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice when their private helicopter went down at 1pm ET.
Kobe’s Sikorsky-76 chopper came down in fog in the Calabasas mountains northwest of Los Angeles.
Vanessa Bryant, sa femme de 20 années, was reportedly horrified when California cops were accused of allegedly showing off horrific photos of the tragedy, which killed nine people.
Vanessa’s attorney, Craig Lavoie, described the allegations that police shared the photos of victims’ remains as “an unspeakable violation of human decency, le respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families.”
Lavoie called for those who shared the photos to “face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”
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Who released the photos?
A young Californian police officer allegedly leaked photos of Kobe Bryant’s body to a woman at a local bar, and Vanessa’s lawsuit claimed that within 48 heures de l'accident, les photos s'étaient étendues à au moins 10 membres du département.
One deputy allegedly took between 25 et 100 photos de la scène du crash sur son téléphone portable, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also included allegations that Police Officer Joey Cruz showed crash photographs to a bartender at the Baja California Bar and Grill in Norwalk, Californie.
L'un des clients a décrit ses actions présumées comme “très, very disturbing” and allegedly made “une remarque grossière sur l'état des victimes’ restes.”
The lawsuit claims that on the day of the crash Deputy Rafael Mejia, qui a été affecté au site du crash, was sent 15 à 20 photos from another deputy.
Il se serait ensuite rendu pour discuter avec une femme adjointe qui n'était pas impliquée dans l'enquête. – et pour aucune autre raison que “potins morbides,” les a envoyés sur son portable.
Mejia testified that he sent about ten photos to Cruz and expressed regret when he said: “Curiosity got the best of us.”
Un autre officier, adjoint Michael Russell, aurait envoyé des photos à un ami avec qui il “joue à des jeux vidéo tous les soirs.”
Cruz testified in court, saying he made a “misjudgment” when he decided to share the photos.
Were the photos deleted?
Sheriff Alex Villanueva admitted he ordered officers to delete the images to stop them from spreading further.
He was accused of covering up the error when the Los Angeles Times reported the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department tried to keep a lid on the scandal for five weeks.
He told NBC4 he asked officers to delete them to stop them from reaching the public domain.
Villanueva said: “We identified the deputies involved, they came to the station on their own and had admitted they had taken them and they had deleted them.
“And, we’re content that those involved did that.”
Il ajouta: “Had we done the original, usual routine, which was relieve everybody of duty and everybody lawyers up and all that, that would increase the odds ten-fold that those photos would have somehow made their way into the public domain.
“And that’s definitely what we do not want.”
Patti Giggans, chair of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, said the destruction of photos “looks like a cover-up of misconduct.”
What lawsuits has Vanessa Bryant filed over the crash?
L'épouse de la star de la NBA a poursuivi Island Express en février 2020, blâmer l'entreprise pour l'accident d'hélicoptère qui a tué son mari et sa fille un mois plus tôt.
La poursuite alléguait que les conditions météorologiques et le brouillard dans la région le jour de l'accident n'étaient pas sécuritaires pour le vol et que le pilote, Voir George Zobayan, omis d'évaluer correctement les conditions avant le décollage.
Bryant a également une autre poursuite en cours contre le département du shérif du comté de LA pour des photos prises et partagées par des députés du site de l'horrible crash.
La veuve de la star du basket, 39, a allégué que des membres du LASD ont partagé plusieurs images horribles et non autorisées de la scène du crash.
She has posted photos of court documents qui comprenait les noms des députés chargés.
En octobre 16 TMZ reported that Vanessa Bryant might be asked by Los Angeles County to undergo a psychiatric exam to prove her distress over the leaked photos.
TMZ reported that county attorneys may want her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to prove that the emotional anguish and distress she claims in her lawsuit is in relation to the leaked photos and not the deaths of her loved ones.
According to court documents obtained by USA TODAY, the County’s filings allegedly say, “Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs).”
“The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims.”
According to TMZ, Vannesa Bryant’s legal team responded to the filing stating that it was nothing more than a “scorched earth” approcher.
What was the verdict?
The jury came to a decision on August 24, 2022, after just over three hours of deliberation.
They ruled that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments were liable for infringing on the constitutional rights of Vanessa Bryant and the co-plaintiff, Christopher Chester who also lost his wife and daughter in the plane crash.
In his closing remarks, Lavoie showed the jury a flow chart of where the photos were sent and question marks over those whose phones had not been searched for the photos.
“If I asked all nine of you to give a percentage chance these photos would end up online, I’d get nine different answers,” Lavoie said. “But none of them would be zero. And when it’s your husband, your child, you don’t get the luxury of cold percentages.”
Chester’s attorney, Jerry Jackson concluded: “Ladies and gentlemen, you can’t award too much for what they’ve been through.”
The federal jury ultimately awarded both plaintiffs a total of $31million in damages to be paid out by the sheriffs and fire department.
Vanessa is to receive $16million and Chester will receive the remaining $15million awarded.