Citing the stress of working on the crash, Brian Jordan defied questions that brought him back to his actions that day, when attorneys for Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, claim he was shown around by a sheriff’s deputy to take on-site photos of the crash scene, including wreckage from the accident and remains of the victims.
“The remains of Kobe Bryant were among the pictures?” asked Bryant’s attorney Luis Li before being cut off by Jordan.
“I need a break, I need a break,” Jordan said as he stood up. “Sorry, Your Honor,” he said as he exited the stands for the first of three times.
At one point, when questioned, Li noted that Jordan always went with his attorney.
Steven Haney, Jordan’s attorney, told CNN that his client’s departure from the courtroom did not concern legal issues but was in response to “a medical condition associated with his viewing of the crash scene that caused him to experience trauma.”
Jordan has repeatedly said he doesn’t remember taking photos because he’s locked that day out of his mind since retiring in early 2021.
Later, when asked by another of the plaintiff’s attorneys if he took photos of specific body parts, Jordan said, “The way the whole scene looked, that will haunt me forever, and excuse me, ’cause I did.” I’ll take another break soon.”
At times, Jordan turned down pointed questions from lawyers about exactly what he photographed that day and why.
“The only reason I’m sitting here is because someone threw my name into this whole thing,” Jordan said on the witness stand. He says a supervisor asked him to take photos at the scene as part of the fire department’s response to the crash.
“Maybe that was the day I should have been defiant,” Jordan said defiantly.
At one point, near the courtroom gallery, Haney, Jordan’s attorney, who is not one of the attorneys representing the LA County defendant, objected to a question from the plaintiffs, saying, “Asked and answered.” When the judge realized who was filing the objection, he directed Haney not to file any further objections.
Vanessa Bryant’s federal civil lawsuit alleges the county invaded her privacy and failed to fully contain the photos’ distribution, leading her to live in fear the photos could surface online at any moment.
LA County claims that the photos were part of necessary accident scene photography and that they sufficiently contained their distribution, arguing that the photos never appeared online.
Testimony continued with a number of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies receiving and sharing the sensitive photos, one of whom was a trainee showing the photos to a bartender he considered a friend.
“Looking back, do you think there was a reason for you to receive those accident photos?” asked plaintiff attorney Craig Lavoie.
“Looking back on it today, no.” Deputy Joey Cruz said although he claimed he initially accepted them because he thought he was later hired to write a report on the incident.
Referring to the bartender, Cruz added, “He’s a close friend that I vent to… I went too far, something I shouldn’t have done.”
Cruz is scheduled to return to the witness stand Tuesday.