Some troubling allegations have emerged regarding the aftermath of the tragic helicopter crash that caused the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others.
During Vanessa Bryant's invasion of privacy trial against Los Angeles County on Wednesday, her attorney Luis Li claimed the cellphone photos of the crash scene, shot by a deputy and fire captain, were "visual gossip" viewed "for a laugh" and had no official purpose.
"They were shared by deputies playing video games," Li said, per ESPN. "They were shared repeatedly with people who had absolutely no reason to receive them."
Photos of the crash site were released to the public via the Los Angeles Times one month after the crash.
"Jan. 26, 2020, was the worst day of Vanessa Bryant's life. The county made it much worse," Li said. "They poured salt in an open wound and rubbed it in."
Li played jurors a video of an off-duty sheriff's deputy drinking at a bar and showing the photos to a bartender. The attorney then showed an image of the men laughing together later.
Li said the county failed to conduct a thorough investigation to make sure all these photos were accounted for. He said Vanessa Bryant "will be haunted by what they did forever."
The county defense says "site photography is essential" and claims Sheriff Alex Villanueva took "decisive action" to make sure all unnecessary photos were deleted.
The county has already paid a $2.5 settlement in a similar case brought forward by two other families involved in the crash. Bryant and one other family representative refused to settle.