Saturday 13 August 2022 03:31 PM LA deputy says he doesn't regret taking photos of Kobe Bryant's headless body ... trends now
A Los Angeles County deputy said he didn't regret taking photos of Kobe Bryant's headless body at the site of a 2020 helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, because he was assigned to do so.
Doug Johnson arrived on the third day of trial dressed in a sleek black suit with a black phone and water bottle to take the stand in Vanessa Bryant's, the NBA star's widow, federal lawsuit against the county.
Johnson is alleged to have taken up to 100 photos of the scene, including of a headless black man that is presumed to be Kobe Bryant. He claimed he did not know the bodies included anyone famous at the time.
However, a retired police officer testified on Friday that the county had a history of keeping 'ghoul books' that include graphic photos of dead celebrities.
The deputy said a third of his photos were close-up shots and were commissioned by Deputy Raul Versales, who was stationed at the bottom of the Calabasas hill, where the crash happened.
Versales has denied requesting the photos, stating: 'All of us at the command post, including myself, we did not request photographs.'
Johnson's photographs were taken on a cell phone and distributed via text message.
When asked if he thought taking the photos on a personal phone was inappropriate, he said, according to the New York Post: 'No, sir.'
Vanessa is suing the county for 'emotional distress,' saying that Johnson's photos were distributed in a bar by other deputies who were gloating about having 'souvenir' photos of Kobe's body, which 'compounded [her] trauma of losing Kobe and Gianna.'
Doug Johnson (pictured on Friday) testified on Friday that he didn't regret taking photos of Kobe Bryant's headless body at the January 2020 crash site. Johnson is alleged to have taken up to 100 photos of the scene, which he distributed via text message, which eventually got passed around
Vanessa (pictured on Friday) is suing LA county for 'emotional distress,' saying that Johnson's photos were distributed in a bar by other deputies who were gloating about having 'souvenir' photos of Kobe's body
Johnson testified on Friday that he and another deputy hiked up the hillside to the crash site around 11.30am in January 2020, where they found body parts everywhere.
The deputy said when he arrived at the top of the hill, he told officials - believed to be of LA County Fire - that he had been assigned to take photos.
When asked if he had interpreted the assignment as taking close-up pictures of bodies, he told the court: 'Yes, sir.'
He also testified that when he presumably found the NBA star, it was only a torso with pants.
'I don't remember seeing the victim's head,' he said on Friday, according to the New York Post.
He also allegedly took photos of bodies in the ravine, which presumably included Gianna's.
Vanessa is seeking damages for invasion of privacy over the sharing of the graphic photos.
The photos were taken by police officers and