- In the final pretrial hearing, Vanessa Bryant and Los Angeles County both won in court.
- Bryant will be able to call an expert witness to testify about the “extensive” approach of what he called the “Book of the Dead.”
- Los Angeles County will not have to share internal letters they sent to those accused of taking and sharing photos of the crash.
Vanessa Bryant and Los Angeles County won a hearing Friday ahead of Bryant’s trial against the county, accusing Los Angeles County staff of filming and sharing the video leading to Bryant, Gianna Photos of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant and seven others.
Attorneys representing Vanessa Bryant will be allowed to claim that a 30-year LAPD veteran claimed to have seen law enforcement’s “death book”, but they were subject to a judge’s order in an internal LA County disciplinary letter. limit.Can be referenced to prove that the photo was shared between employees.
Former police officer Adam Berkovich, who Bryant’s team will call into the stands, wrote in court documents that he had personally seen photos of the deceased, which are often recorded as “death books,” and argued “brutal.” Souvenirs” are a culture that Southern California law enforcement has had problems with since Polaroid cameras came into use.
On Friday, during a pretrial conference ahead of the Aug. 10 trial date, Judge John Walter said Berkovich’s testimony would be relevant to the case — a victory for Bryant.
In September 2020, Bryant sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the county’s fire department, the entire county and eight police officers over reports of first responders Photographs were taken and shared from the crash site in January 2020.
Her lawsuit is seeking punitive damages from county defendants accused of taking and sharing photos of the crash site. Bryant is suing the county for claims of negligence, emotional distress and invasion of privacy, as well as federal claims involving constitutional rights to photos of her deceased loved ones, as well as the actions of a Los Angeles County agent that led to the alleged acquisition and distribution of the photos. photo.
In court documents filed in January, Bercovici wrote that as a longtime LAPD member, he “personally investigated more than 100 personnel complaints.”
“A particularly memorable example of this behavior occurred in 1994, when I was assigned as the director of CRASH, Western Operations, and I saw a polaroid of the late Nicole Brown Simpson, ” Bercovici said in the filing. “This photo depicts the deceased with her throat slit, almost to the point of beheading.”
March 2020, LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva admits existence of ‘Book of the Dead’ his original comment back news The alleged inappropriate photo emerged, saying: “It’s a terrible idea, but some people do it.”
During the hearing, Walter told the parties that Bercovici could not testify or comment on whether the Los Angeles County agency’s investigation “deviates from basic standards” because he was only involved in the LAPD investigation.
In a win for the county, Walter added that Bryant’s team would not be allowed to send Deputy Fire Chief William McLeod to staffers accused of taking pictures of remains in the crash to file the alleged Letter of intent to discharge. The website considers the letters to be “remedies”.
Introducing anywhere from five to 600 pieces of evidence before the trial, Walter told the court he wanted to avoid “mini-trials” of the county’s internal investigation and wanted to zero in on whether inappropriate photos were taken and shared — and whether they still existed.