January 26, 2020 brought a cloud of darkness to the entire NBA community. The loss of Kobe Bryant remains significant in the sports world. A tragic helicopter crash claimed the lives of nine people, including the basketball icon and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
As fans of basketball, the NBA and Kobe Bryant grieved for the tremendous loss, authorities and first responders snapped personal photos of the wreckage. Kobe’s late wife, Vanessa Bryant, is suing for an invasion of privacy against Los Angeles County for the inappropriate acts.
Unable to settle the dispute out of court, a trial into the matter began with jury selection earlier in the week. On Wednesday, attorneys for the grieving widow called the photos a product of a “culture of callousness.”
Luis Li – counsel representing Vanessa Bryant – alleged that a deputy and fire captain took cellphone photos of the aftermath. Li claims the photos specifically served a personal purpose, calling the snapshots “visual gossip” and “for a laugh.”
Presenting to the jury, Li included, “[photos] were shared repeatedly with people who had absolutely no reason to receive them.” His most resounding statement came later in the proceedings. “January 26, 2020, was the worst day of Vanessa Bryant’s life. The county made it much worse,” said Li. “They poured salt in an open wound and rubbed it in.”
L.A. County attorney J. Mira Hashmall argued that “site photography is essential” for first responders canvassing the area. Important artifacts and information becomes easily transferable through cellphone communication.
However, Li presented a CCTV clip that shows an off-duty sheriff’s deputy showing the footage to a bartender. The attorney also entered into evidence a photo of the two men laughing shortly after sharing the video.
The Legacy of Kobe, Gianna Bryant Lives Through Vanessa
Bryant’s five NBA championships puts the 18-time All Star directly into the conversation regarding the best players of all-time. But deciphering individual talent while accepting a difference in eras proves more and more difficult as the league evolves.
The impact Kobe Bryant bestowed upon future generations of young hoopers remains boundless. Even when LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe sat courtside. His ego and discussions of LeBron vs. Kobe never allowed his unwavering support of the franchise to falter.
As players continue to honor the life and legacy of the star, remembering the faults seems unimportant. But Bryant wouldn’t want that. The life built with Vanessa, the success of raising his daughters, and the way his girls looked up to their father should tell you everything about the character penance of one of the all-time greats.