Vanessa Bryant isn’t playing when it comes to her family.
Vanessa Bryant claims the sheriff’s deputy who photographed Kobe Bryant’s crash scene also knelt on a handcuffed inmate’s head during another scandal involving excessive force. L.A. County is pushing back, saying the other incident is irrelevant and could sway the jury in their favor.
A deputy named Doug Johnson is accused of kneeling on the head of a handcuffed inmate for several minutes, roughly a year after Kobe, Gigi, and seven others died in a tragic helicopter crash. The event that occurred in March of 2021 was covered extensively by the media. It has been claimed that members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tried to stifle the release of incident details out of fear that they would reflect poorly on the agency.
Doug Johnson is accused of being one of the deputies who photographed Kobe’s remains at the crash site, so this is not the first scandal he has been linked to. Allegedly, civilians were then shown the photographs in public places like bars.
The defamation and negligence trial filed by the Bryant family in 2020 is scheduled to begin in July, and L.A. County’s attorneys have now asked the judge to bar Vanessa’s attorneys from bringing up the issue.
The county claims the jail incident is “entirely unrelated” to Vanessa Bryant’s case in court papers submitted on Friday. They argue that raising the issue of excessive force could significantly affect the verdict at trial.
According to the L.A. Times, county attorneys reportedly asked Vanessa’s legal team if they would agree not to bring up the other incident, but Vanessa’s attorney reportedly declined. It was at that time that Los Angeles County made its formal motion.
To date, a judge has made no ruling on L.A. County’s petition.