A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has admitted to taking and sharing photos of the horrific helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others in Jan. 2020.
Los Angeles Deputy Douglas Johnson testified on the third day of Vanessa Bryant’s federal case against Los Angeles County that he was told by another sheriff’s deputy, Raul Versales, to take pictures of the deadly helicopter crash that killed NBA Hall-of-Famer, and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, the New York Post. Johnson failed to say why his colleague urged him to take the photos. He also testified that he was unaware that the photos he snapped on January 26, 2020, were of Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13.
Vanessa’s lawyers have argued that county officials have unprofessionally shared the photos that have caused her “severe emotional distress and compounded the trauma of losing Kobe and Gianna.”
Johnson told the L.A. courtroom that he snapped 25 photos at the California crash and texted them to two firefighters. Johnson said roughly a third of the photos were close-up shots of body parts, photos he says were requested by Versales, who was at the command posts located at the bottom of the Calabasas hill the helicopter crashed into.
Kobe and Gianna were among seven of the nine passengers who were killed in the January 2020 helicopter crash in California.