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Cops, firefighters accused of passing around pics of Kobe Bryant, daughter’s remains


Gruesome photos of the remains of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were passed around by at least 24 cops and firefighters and even shown at a bar during a party, his widow claimed in court papers filed Thursday.

An attorney for Vanessa Bryant said pictures taken by first responders at the scene of the 2020 helicopter that killed the NBA legend, daughter Gianna and seven others were shared within 24 hours by at least 11 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department workers and a dozen firefighters.

“And that was only the beginning,” attorney Luis Vi wrote in a 55-page memo. “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, 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.”

Vanessa Bryant, who is suing the county over the pictures, alleges emergency workers later wiped data and even discarded cellphones to hide evidence. During discovery for the lawsuits with a slew of witness depositions, it came out that the snaps were shown by one worker at Baja California Bar & Grill on Jan. 28, 2020 – just two days after the crash, the filing said.

As Vanessa Bryant grieves over her husband and child, she lives in fear as “many copies of the photos remain unsecured, uncontained, and at risk of going viral with the click of a mouse,” the court filing alleges. The photos made their way to at least 28 devices related to the sheriff’s office, the papers said.

Vanessa Bryant, who is suing the county over the pictures, alleges emergency workers later wiped data and even discarded cellphones to hide evidence.
Vanessa Bryant, who is suing the county over the pictures, alleges emergency workers later wiped data and even discarded cellphones to hide evidence of the remains of her late husband and daughter.
James Anderson/National Transportation Safety Board via AP, File

“Mrs. Bryant has suffered—and continues to suffer—severe distress from the callous mistreatment of her loved ones’ remains, disgust at Defendants’ disrespectful intrusion upon her grief, and acute, persistent fear that the disturbing images could appear on the internet at any time, reigniting the unbearable trauma of the crash itself,” the court filing said.

“Defendants have done the unimaginable: they have made the unbearable pain of burying one’s child and spouse in the prime of life even more painful. They should be held accountable.”

Some of the first responders admitted the “graphic close-ups” of the remains served no purpose other than “baser instincts and desires for what amounted to visual gossip,” the attorney wrote in the filing. One firefighter was allegedly almost fired while two others were suspended based on the sharing of the photos.

Gruesome photos of the remains of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were passed around by at least 24 cops and firefighters and even show at a bar during a party.
Gruesome photos of the remains of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were passed around by at least 24 cops and firefighters and even show at a bar during a party.
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

As many as 28 witnesses can be called at the upcoming trial, the court filing said.

Lakers great Kobe, Gianna and seven others died when their helicopter crashed amid dense fog on the way to a youth basketball tournament. The county reached a $2.5 million settlement with families of some of those who died last year.

Both sides in Vanessa Bryant’s case are due back in court in February.



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