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Kobe Bryant’s Wife, Vanessa Bryant, Cries During Opening Statements in Crash Photos Trial

Published on August 12th, 2022 | Updated on August 12th, 2022 | By FanFest

Vanessa Bryant‘s civil trial against Los Angeles County began on Wednesday. Her lawyer, Luis Li, made an opening statement to the jury. He said that the day Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna died was the worst day of Vanessa’s life. It got even worse when officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department took pictures of the helicopter crash scene. These officers are alleged to have taken pictures of the bodies and shared them with colleagues.

“January 26, 2020, was and always will be the worst day of Vanessa Bryant’s life,” Li said, per USA Today. “The county did not cause the helicopter to crash … But county employees exploited the accident, took and shared pictures of Kobe’s and Gianna’s remains as souvenirs, and betrayed the sacred trust we place in them. They poured salt in an unhealable wound. When they did that, they violated the constitution. That is why we are here, you are here, we are all here in federal court today, to try to right that wrong.”

Kobe Bryant's Wife, Vanessa Bryant, Cries During Opening Statements in Crash Photos Trial

The trial began with a description of the crash scene. This was followed by testimony from Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. Pelinka revealed that he and Vanessa Bryant visited the crash site six months after the accident. They both paid homage to Kobe and Gigi. “Part of her journey of grief and healing was that she wanted to touch the soil from where they went to heaven,” Pelinka told the court, fighting back tears, per Insider. “We just knew that they were with us.”

Vanessa Bryant was dressed in all black on Wednesday, and Pelinka said that she cared so much about the “beauty she created around her children.” When Pelinka heard the news about county officials taking photos of Kobe and Gigi’s bodies at the crash site, he thought about how the photos must have looked different from the ones she has up at home.

County attorney Mira Hashmall told the jury that “there were mistakes,” including the one made by sheriff’s debut trainee Joey Cruz. TTwo days after the accident, Cruz showed the photos to a bartender at a bar. This led to the bar patron filing a complaint with the sheriff’s department later that night. USA Today says the trial could last two weeks or more.

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