The Last Update was 12 hours ago.
After receiving photos of the body parts of crash victims, witnesses began testifying in Bryants' lawsuit against Los Angeles County on Thursday.
Vanessa Bryant left the courtroom on the second day of her trial against Los Angeles County because a witness claimed that a deputy trainee from the department had shared graphic images from the car accident that claimed the lives of her daughter Gianna and her husband Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, 40, began crying during one witness testimony before she left the room, according to a USA Today article. She didn't return that day.
Bryant and Chris Chester, a father who lost his wife and daughter in the 2020 chopper disaster, are suing L.A. County for emotional distress and mental agony following revelations that eight L.A. County Sheriffs Department officers allegedly took photos of the victims and shared them with unauthorised individuals.
On Thursday, several witnesses appeared before the jury, including former bartender Victor Gutierrez who claimed Cruz had shown him the pictures. Ralph Mendez Jr., a patron of the bar who claimed to have witnessed the exchange and to have filed a complaint with the sheriff's office, also testified.
Joey Cruz, a deputy trainee, approached him while he was working as a bartender shortly after the Jan. 26, 2020 collision and asked if he would like to see a photo of the victims' bodies, according to Gutierrez in court on Thursday.
Gutierrez, a lawyer for Bryant, specifically asked him if he saw a human body in the image he believed to be Kobe Bryant. Cruz did, according to Gutierrez, show him the body portion.
What are the reasons for the autopsy sketches of Kobe Bryant on my tl??? Vanessa Bryant sued the authorities who took photos of Kobe's body after the crash. What makes you think it's okay to post the autopsy sketches?
Cruz allegedly showed Gutierrez pictures of body parts that were not gender-specific or age-specific, according to Gutierrez. Did you notice any of the images that contained what appeared to be a girl as well? Gutierrez In response, They were only components Im not sure if they were male or female.
Cruz and Gutierrez were filmed laughing and looking at Cruz's phone while inside the bar, which Bryants lawyer believed was a reference to the victims' physical condition. Gutierrez then denied the notion, saying in front of the jury, "You have to be psycho to do it."
Gutierrez maintained that he was not amusing himself by looking at photographs of the victims while testifying. Mendez, the patron who claimed to have seen the exchange and reported it to the sheriff's office, however, admitted to the jury that he was in shock of everything he had heard from Cruz and Gutierrez that evening.
Before Gutierrez appeared in court, Emily Tauscher, a county coroners office, testified about the condition of the crash victims' bodies. According to USA Today, Bryant left the courtroom during Tauschers' testimony because, according to her attorney, she always feared that the pictures would be released.
According to several publications, the trial started on Wednesday. Bryant sued Los Angeles County in September 2021, alleging emotional agony after discovering that emergency personnel had released collision photographs online.
Bryant stated in her declaration that she has experienced immense agony and distress in December 2021.
Bryant's reply was, "It infuriates me that those I trusted to guard my husband and daughters' dignity misused their positions to get souvenirs of their deaths."
She stated, "I'm depressed at the idea that deputies and firefighters have looked at my husband and child's bodies for no reason." Seeing pictures of my husbands and daughters' bodies being laughed at while being displayed during a bar and an awards dinner also brings me great sadness and rage.