Former fire chief repeatedly walked out of the witness stand during testimony about photos of Kobe Bryant’s crash scene – CNN

'It shocks the conscience.'  Vanessa Bryant's lawyer says photos of Kobe's helicopter crash were shared with dozens of LA County employees - CNN

Citing stress from working the crash, Brian Jordan resisted questions that took him back to his actions that day, when attorneys for Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, claim he was led around by a sheriff’s deputy to take site photography of the scene, including crash debris and remains of victims.

“Kobe Bryant’s remains were among the pictures?” asked Bryant’s attorney Luis Li before being cut off by Jordan.

“I need a break, I need a rest,” Jordan said as he stood up. “Excuse your honor,” he said as he left the stand the first of three times.

At one point, Li noted in questioning that Jordan went out with his lawyer every time.

Steven Haney, Jordan’s attorney, told CNN that his client’s departures from the courtroom were not about legal issues, but a reaction to “treatment associated with his viewing of the crash scene and it causes him to suffer trauma.”

Jordan has repeatedly said he doesn’t remember taking photos because he’s blocked that day from his memory since retiring in early 2021.

Later, when asked by another prosecutor about whether he took photos of specific body parts, Jordan said “The way the whole scene looked, that’s going to haunt me forever, and excuse me because I’m about to take another break.”

At times Jordan rebuffed pointed questions from lawyers about exactly what he was photographing that day and why.

“The only reason I’m sitting here is because somebody threw my name into this whole thing,” Jordan said on the witness stand. He says a supervisor asked him to take site photography as part of the fire department’s response to the crash.

“Maybe that was the day I should have been disobedient,” Jordan said defiantly.

At one point, Haney, Jordan’s attorney who is not one of the attorneys representing defendant LA County, protested from near the courtroom gallery to a question asked by the plaintiffs, saying “asked and answered.” When the judge realized who made the objection, he instructed Haney not to make any further objections.

Vanessa Bryant’s federal civil suit claims that the district invaded her privacy and did not fully contain the spread of the photos, causing her to live in fear that the photos could appear online at any moment.

The LA District claims that the photos were part of necessary accident scene photography and that it sufficiently contained their dissemination, arguing that the photos never appeared online.

Testimony continued with a series of Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies receiving and sharing the sensitive photos with one another, one of whom was a trainee who showed the photos to a bartender he considered a friend.

“Looking back, do you think there was any reason for you to get these accident photos?” asked plaintiff attorney Craig Lavoie.

“Looking back on it today, no.” Deputy Joey Cruz said, although he claimed he initially accepted them thinking he might later be ordered to write a report on the incident.

As for the bartender, Cruz added: “He’s a close friend that I vent to… I took it too far, something I shouldn’t have done.”

Cruz is due back on the witness stand on Tuesday.

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