The Sheriff’s department of the LA County had tried to hide the incident from the public’s eye
The sheriff’s deputy who is accused of photographing Kobe Bryant’s and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna’s bodies at the helicopter crash site is now embroiled in yet another issue.
He was caught on camera squatting for several minutes on the neck of a shackled inmate.
Vanessa Bryant, the former wife(widowed) of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, is suing a sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles County for sharing the photos with other cops and firemen.
Preliminary evidence “has shown that the close-up photos of Gianna and Kobe’s remains were passed around on at least 28 sheriff’s department devices and by at least a dozen firefighters, and shown off in bars and at an awards gala,” Vanessa’s attorney Luis Li wrote in documents filed in January 2022.
Vanessa has urged the judge to let the jury to know that the deputy, Douglas Johnson, kneeled on an inmate’s neck. Johnson kneeled on handcuffed convict Enzo Escalante’s neck about the same time as George Floyd was slain in the similar way. To prevent bad headlines, the LA County Sheriff’s Department reportedly tried to hide the footage of Johnson kneeling on Escalante’s neck.
Here is the video in question:
Vanessa’s petition is being challenged by LA County, which claims the event has nothing to do with the case.
“The only reason Plaintiff would seek to elicit testimony about Deputy Johnson’s altercation with the inmate and LASD’s response is to impugn Deputy Johnson’s and Sheriff [Alex] Villanueva’s character,” the county stated. “This is improper.”
The judge has made no Decision so far
Vanessa is concerned that photos of Kobe’s remains may be posted on the internet. When she types her husband’s name into Google, she says it’s “terrible” to see “Kobe Bryant body” pop up as a possibility.
“The gratuitous sharing continued in the following days and weeks and included such outrageous conduct as flaunting the photos in a bar while pantomiming dismemberment, Vanessa’s lawyers stated in previous court documents. “Showing off the photos over cocktails at an awards gala, and casually texting the photos to a group chat of video-game buddies while playing Call of Duty.”