An attorney representing Vanessa Bryant, the widow of late NBA star Kobe Bryant, told a jury on Wednesday that the Los Angeles County first responders have a "culture of callousness" that led some to take pictures of the victims of the 2020 helicopter crash.
Luis Li said in his opening statement that photos taken at the scene of the crash by a sheriff’s deputy and a fire captain were "visual gossip" shared "for a laugh" and not any official business.
"They were shared by deputies playing video games," Li said. "They were shared repeatedly with people who had absolutely no reason to receive them."
An attorney for the county, J. Mira Hashmall, said that "site photography is essential" and that the photos are "not online" and "not in the media" and have “never even been seen by the plaintiffs themselves. That is not an accident. That is a function of how diligent they were."
However, Li showed the jury security footage of one deputy, who was off-duty at the time, drinking and showing photos of the crash scene to a bartender. He criticized the county, claiming that officials failed to ensure that copies of the photo were fully accounted for.
He also displayed an animated chart of the almost 30 people who have reportedly seen the photos, saying that the Bryant family "will be haunted by what they did forever" because of the possibility of those photos becoming public.
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