Kobe Bryant crash photos widow, departs a Los Angeles courthouse in 2022. Kobe Bryant’s widow is suing the LA County sheriff’s and fire departments in federal court over images of the NBA star, his daughter, and seven others who died in a helicopter accident in 2020.
13 In the Kobe Bryant crash photos trial, LA County first responders contradicted themselves.
Contradictions were a theme throughout the trial, as Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester testified. Conflicting testimonies muddled the role important witnesses played at the crash site, while internal department interviews supplied a clearer perspective.
A county attorney accused Bryant’s team of nitpicking audio excerpts from internal department probes, yet those conversations revealed who ordered the images, what they showed, and why personnel disseminated them.
Vanessa Bryant will gift $16 million to a sports foundation.
Vanessa Bryant will donate her $16 million verdict against Los Angeles County first responders to the Mamba and Mambacita sports organization.
Bryant will donate her half to honor Kobe and Gigi.
Bryant hasn’t said if he’ll donate the whole sum.
LA County Sheriff’s Department took unauthorized images of corpses.
In awarding Vanessa Byrant and Chris Chester damages, the jury singled out the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
Both the LASD and LACFD have inadequate training and policies, leading to incorrect images being taken and distributed.
The jury found that the sheriff’s department, not the fire department, routinely took such images.
The distinction offers new light on the scandal-plagued sheriff’s department.
Vanessa Bryant is awarded $16 million.
The jury decided on Vanessa Bryant after 4.5 hours.
Kobe Bryant crash photos and Chris Chester’s constitutional rights were infringed by the LA County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments. The crash killed Chester’s wife and daughter.
Kobe Bryant crash photos and Chester each received $16 million.
Vanessa Bryant sobbed when the judge pronounced the decision.
The widow’s counsel stated she wanted to “expose the sheriff’s and fire departments”
“The photos case is empty”
Wednesday morning, LA County’s attorney delivered her final address, ending the traumatic trial.
Mira Hashmall, the county’s attorney, told jurors, “This is the case of the image, and there are no pictures.” She was referring to the LA County Sheriff’s order to destroy horrific photos of the crash to prevent their spread.
“The longer we delayed, the cosmos expanded infinitely,” the sheriff testified. He said his staff’s demands for legal and union representation could have slowed an early inquiry into who took and circulated the images, allowing them to spread farther.
Deliberations have begun.
Vanessa Bryant, her daughter Natalia, USWNT soccer player Sydney Leroux, Rob Pelinka and his wife
Vanessa Bryant’s 19-year-old daughter Natalia, USWNT player Sydney Leroux, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, and his wife Kristin attended Wednesday’s closing arguments.
Bryant wore all-white instead of all-black during the trial. A county attorney argued that the county never released news helicopter footage of the January 2020 crash scene.
Pelinka concealed his eyes during the video.
During her attorney Luis Li’s closing rebuttal speech, Bryant and others broke down in tears.
The County made their bad day worse.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawyers request millions in damages in the Kobe Bryant crash photographs trial.
Vanessa Bryant’s counsel delivered a final impassioned plea to jurors on her husband’s birthday, ending a gloomy trial with horrific photographs of his dead body captured and released by LASD and LAFD.
“Today, Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia,” his attorney told jurors. “It’s an honor to beg for justice on his birthday for him and his daughter Gianna.”
Jurors will decide the trial’s outcome.
Sergeant Travis Kelly defended his colleagues photographing human remains at a crash site because ‘it’s part of the scene.
A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sergeant who set up a makeshift command center at the crash site offered a confused account of the day’s events on Monday.
Tuesday, he testified.
After the crash, Kelly told LASD investigators he hadn’t directed his workers to take images. In his internal interview, Deputy Raul Versales said no one at the command post requested the images.
Kelly said Monday, “I requested for images.” He didn’t control the radio stations but wanted someone to deliver the directive.
In court, he justified his staff’s up-close images of human remains, claiming “it’s part of the scene.” He received 10 to 15 photos and deleted them after forwarding a selection to NTSB investigators.
In his internal affairs interview, he said he received “a photo he’ll never forget” among the gory crash scene photos, and “if it were my loved ones, I wouldn’t want to remember them this way.”
Natalia Bryant, Sydney Leroux, and Ciara joined Vanessa Bryant.
Vanessa Bryant is supported by soccer player Sydney Leroux, singer Ciara, and daughter Natalia, 19.
Vanessa Bryant testified last week that her kids Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3, sleep with her every night.
A fire captain photographed Kobe Bryant crash photos site.
A Los Angeles County fire chief dismissed the evidence of a former employee who said he was told to photograph Kobe Bryant crash photos remains.
Anthony Marrone testified on the ninth day of the trial.
He testified that retired LACFD Fire Captain and Safety Officer Brian Jordan came into the station on his day off and said, “I’m going to that brush fire.” 25-30 images were taken.
Marrone said that he never asked Jordan to photograph human remains at the crash scene.
LASD’s chief of internal investigations testifies Monday.
The trial resumed Monday with testimony from the LASD’s internal investigations chief.
The probe has dominated the trial, often contradicting deputies’ testimony. The LAPD didn’t investigate the circulation of Kobe Bryant crash photos accident scene images until two days after a blockbuster LA Times article.
Prosecutor: Kobe Bryant crash photos trial could hurt Sheriff Villanueva’s reelection bid.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department has faced a flood of negative headlines due to misconduct claims, including the coverup of a deputy kneeling on a shackled inmate’s head for numerous minutes.
The deputy was also accused of taking images Kobe Bryant crash photos site.
Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, said Villanueva is in a “very big fight” for his political future ahead of the November election.
“The sheriff’s department covering up crimes is a serious problem.”
Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys accused the LA County Sheriff’s department of destroying evidence before trial, the prosecutor claims.
Vanessa Bryant and other plaintiffs’ attorneys testified this week that the LA County Sheriff’s department went further than previously reported to conceal the circulation of crash images.
A tech expert hired by Bryant’s lawyers testified Wednesday that deputies “violated key forensic policies” when they erased crash site photos.
Victims’ lawyers accuse the sheriff’s office of destroying evidence.
If deputies destroyed or failed to preserve critical evidence once litigation was imminent, it would be “spoliation of evidence,” a veteran federal prosecutor told Insider this week.
The former prosecutor argues Kobe Bryant crash photos trial shows’shady’ LA County Sheriff’s Dept.
Over the past week, a rotating door of LA sheriff’s deputies and fire captains testified about their involvement in the county-wide transmission of horrifying photos from Kobe Bryant crash photos January 2020 helicopter crash.
A former federal prosecutor and West Coast Trial Lawyers president Neama Rahmani told Insider that deputies are unlikely to face the direst penalties from the trial. The actual difficulty is the scandal-ridden agency at the center of the case, he said.
“The trial’s first week showed how sleazy the LA County Sheriff’s Department is,” Rahmani remarked.
Why LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva gave officers amnesty
Sheriff Alex Villanueva described the LASD’s efforts to contain Kobe Bryant crash site.
“Come out with any images and anyone you sent them to, and you won’t be disciplined,” Villanueva said Friday.
He said his staff’s demands for legal and union representation could have slowed an early inquiry into who took and circulated the images, allowing them to spread farther.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says only ‘god knows’ if Kobe Bryant crash photos images were removed.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered a closer look at the LASD’s efforts to restrict Kobe Bryant crash photos helicopter crash scene following the tragedy, explaining his deletion order of images because of “an expanding cosmos.”
Villanueva answered “god knows” when asked if the photographs were permanently destroyed.
Vanessa Bryant testified regarding gruesome crash remains descriptions.
Vanessa Bryant remembered gruesome photographs of her husband and kid after their helicopter crashed in 2020 before a federal courtroom on Friday.
“I didn’t realize they were called ‘piles of flesh,’ ‘gumbo,’ and ‘hamburger meat'” Bryant spoke about language first responders used in court testimony and internal interviews.
Vanessa Bryant advocates
Vanessa Bryant testified Friday that she still gets panic attacks after seeing horrible photographs from the helicopter crash that killed her husband and children.
Bryant, dressed in black and often in tears, detailed the day she discovered first responders were sharing photographs of human remains from the disaster.
First-time interview with father who lost daughter and wife in a crash
Chris Chester, speaking publicly for the first time about the crash that killed his wife and daughter, said he was glad he said goodbye and “I love you” to Sarah and Payton on January 26, 2020.
Chester told the court in his merged trial with Vanessa Bryant, “I hoped I’d be hospitalized.” He waited hours before learning there were no survivors.
After the collision, he and Vanessa Bryant encouraged Sheriff Alex Villanueva to “shut it down” and prevent spectators and media from taking photos or souvenirs.
On his birthday, February 28, 2020, he read in the Los Angeles Times that first responders at the helicopter crash scene took images of human remains and deleted them after a citizen complained they were presented in a bar.
Chester sniffled, “There was wrath.” It was angry.
His account shows how photo sharing increased his pain.
Kobe was my top choice.
Two Los Angeles firemen implicated in the countywide dissemination of grisly helicopter crash images said they were curious about the incident.
One was shown the images at the 2020 Golden Mike awards event.
Plaintiff’s counsel focused on a comment Cornell made to the LACFD about the images’ dissemination on Thursday.
Cornell wanted to see Kobe, which is why sheriff’s deputies and fire authorities shared gruesome images from the site.
Cornell said it was “bad wording” in court this week, but claimed people are “curious” about large-scale event images.
Two fire employees testified Wednesday, including the LACFD member who shared crash site images at a banquet.
Thursday, the jury will learn how and why first responders’ images were disseminated.
Tony Imbrenda testified Wednesday that he was only “talking shop” and debating strategies when he handed Kobe Bryant accident site images to other fire officials a month after the crash.
Brenda said he “wouldn’t have done it again” despite believing he was having a “professional interaction with authorized persons”
Tech expert testifies most LASD devices analyzed lacked key data.
A tech expert hired by Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys claimed that Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies “violated key forensic policies” when they destroyed crash scene images and gave investigators replacement phones.
Vanessa Bryant knows LASD erased horrific crash photographs from a LA Times piece, chief testifies.
Vanessa Bryant, who lost her husband and 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash, learned from a Los Angeles Times report that the LA County Sheriff’s Department ordered the deletion of violent images taken at the crash scene.
Chief Jorge Valdez, a department spokesperson in January 2020, admitted in court on Tuesday that he helped cover up a citizen complaint for nearly a month after a deputy was observed sharing horrifying accident site images at a Norwalk bar.
Valdez revealed in court Tuesday that the helicopter accident victims’ families learned about the lawsuit and deletion order through the LA Times, not the agency. He said the department never contacted Vanessa Bryant or other victims’ families about the images or delete an order.
The department didn’t investigate the photographs until two days after the LA Times article, he testified.
One of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s senior public relations staffers testifies today after admitting to keeping a citizen complaint regarding crash images secret for almost a month.
Jorge Valdez, the LASD media relations captain who played a key part in covering up the Kobe Bryant crash photos complaint and photo deletion order, testifies in a Los Angeles federal courtroom on Wednesday.
By January 31, 2020, Valdez had recovered security tape showing Deputy Joey Cruz distributing the images, spoken with Mendez, and relayed Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s command to “not allow the photos to reach the light of day.”
The three lied to a Los Angeles Times reporter on February 26 about the complaint and deletion order. Valdez told the Times, “We’re so big.” “I’ve heard no complaints.”
A USB with Cruz’s security footage sat in Valdez’s office for a month without scrutiny. The LASD published a statement on February 28 claiming it was “extremely troubled” by “allegations” that staff had collected and shared crash site images.