Judge makes key decision in Bryant’s trial over crash photos
Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit last year over unauthorized photos that were taken at the site where her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna, along with seven others, died in a helicopter crash. On Monday, a judge ruled in his favor on a key issue related to the case.
Some of the photos in question were taken by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department assistants. Lawyers for the ministry have tabled a motion to keep the names of MPs under seal, arguing that disclosure of the names would make MPs’ addresses and personal information accessible and hackers could target them. According to Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter ruled against the sheriff’s department on Monday.
Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li, argued that “transparency promotes accountability,” and Walter agreed. The judge said that “the public has a vested interest in assessing the veracity of allegations of official misconduct” when the case involves police officers.
Additionally, the LA County Sheriff’s Department insisted that the photos taken at the crash site had been removed and / or removed from electronic devices and no longer existed. Walter said in his ruling that the ministry’s concern that hackers could locate the photographs if they learned the identity of MPs is “wholly inconsistent with their position that such photographs no longer exist.”
Bryant’s lawsuit seeks damages for negligence and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit alleges lawmakers and two Los Angeles firefighters took and shared photos of the victims of the crash, which took place on January 26, 2020.