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LA Deputy Who Took Photos Of Kobe Bryant Crash Site Testifies In Court


Photo: AFP

Sending Vanessa Bryant strength during this emotional time. LA County deputy Doug Johnson testified today in court why he took photos of the crash site that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and 7 others in January 2020.

He claimed on the witness stand on Friday that it took him more than an hour to walk to the location due to the steep slope. He claimed to have looked for survivors and described the sight as horrifying.

According to Johnson's testimony, he was instructed to document the entire scene with photographs, and he believed this included capturing images of the victims.

He claimed to have taken roughly 25 pictures and texted them to a deputy at the station.

Johnson said he never considered it might not be proper to have these images on his personal phone.

He claimed that sharing incident images with department members was standard procedure. Johnson claims to have deleted all the images from his phone after his shift.

Weireter, a fireman's wife, testified that L.A. County firefighter Capt. Tony Imbrenda showed images of the crash on his phone at an awards ceremony.

Weireter claimed that she was disgusted since she had relatives who died in the crash.

Keri Altobelli was her cousin. In the collision, Keri, John, and their daughter Alyssa all died.

Weireter claimed that some people gathered and used the photos for speculation like a party trick.

Weireter alerted the Los Angeles County Fire Department of the breach in protocol given the images being shared may have been of her family members.

This disputes the county's claim that all photos taken by the county's sheriff's deputies and firefighters, were swiftly deleted, are no longer available in any format, and were never made public.

Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester, a financial planner in Irvine, are suing the county for an undisclosed amount of money for negligence and breach of privacy related to the images. Among the nine individuals killed in the collision were her husband Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well as Chester's wife, Sarah, and their 13-year-old daughter Payton.

The plaintiffs claim that first responders from Los Angeles County took graphic cellphone photos of human remains at the crash site in Calabasas for their personal enjoyment as mementos and distributed them to other law enforcement and emergency service officials as well as members of the public.

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