LOS ANGELES (CNN) — A former Los Angeles County fire chief left the witness stand three times during testimony Monday, when he was asked if he had photographed the remains of Kobe Bryant in the 2020 helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others.
Citing stress from working the crash, Brian Jordan resisted questions that led him back to his actions that day, as attorneys for Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa said a sheriff’s deputy directed him to take pictures of the crash scene. of victims.
“Were Kobe Bryant’s remains in the photos?”, before being interrupted by Jordan. asked Bryant’s attorney, Louis Li.
“I need a break, I need a break,” Jordan said, climbing to his feet. “Excuse me, your honor,” he said three times before leaving the stage.
At one point, Li noted under questioning that Jordan dated her lawyer every time.
Jordan’s attorney, Steven Haney, told CNN his client walked out of court not because of legal issues, but because of “a medical condition related to seeing the scene of the accident and it’s traumatic.”
Jordan has said several times that he doesn’t remember taking the pictures because he’s blocked that day from his memory since he retired in early 2021.
Later, when another plaintiff’s attorney asked Jordan if he photographed specific parts of Kobe Bryant’s body, Jordan said, “That whole scene is going to haunt me forever, and I’m sorry. Take another break.”
At times, Jordan refused direct questions from prosecutors about what exactly he had photographed that day and why.
“The only reason I’m sitting here is because somebody got my name,” Jordan said on the witness stand. He said he was asked by a supervisor to take pictures of the scene as part of the fire department’s response to the accident.
“Maybe he was disobedient that day,” counters Jordan.
At one point, Haney, Jordan’s attorney, who is not one of the attorneys representing the defendant in Los Angeles County, objected to a “question and answer” question from the plaintiffs from near the courtroom gallery. Realizing who was objecting, the judge ordered Haney not to object further.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit over Kobe photos
The Civil suit Vanessa Bryant’s federal complaint alleges the county invaded her privacy and failed to fully control the distribution of the photos, which she feared could appear online at any time.
Los Angeles County argues that the photos were part of the required crash site photography and contained sufficient disclosure that the photos did not appear online.
Testimony continued as Los Angeles County officials obtained and shared critical photos with each other, including an intern who showed the photos to a bartender he considered a friend.
“In retrospect, do you think there was any reason to get photos of this accident?” asked prosecutor Craig Lavoie.
“Looking back today, no,” Deputy Sheriff Joey Cruz said, although he said he initially accepted them thinking he might have been tasked with writing a report about the incident.
Of the bartender, Cruise added: “He’s a close friend of mine… I took myself too far, something I shouldn’t have done.”
Cruz will return to the witness stand on Tuesday.
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