Vanessa Bryant lost her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash 3 years ago. The Helicopter crash consisted of a total of 9 members on that fateful day. Kobe and Gigi’s last moments are truly nerve-shattering according to the autopsy report. However, Vanessa had to go through another traumatic experience, when Los Angeles deputy, Joey Cruz shared the photos of their remains in a bar.
Cruz is named as one of the four members alleged to share the photos from the crash site that took the life of 9 people. Vanessa filed a petition for lack of privacy and negligence, for which she received $29 million. The settlement includes the award she received in August last year. The lawsuit ended, as a result of which Los Angeles County is held liable to pay the award. This led the Los Angeles people to protest against it.
Along with Cruz, Rafael Mehia, Michael Russell, and Raul Versales are also the culprits for their acts. Their names were revealed when the federal judge rejected the plea of Los Angeles County to withhold the name. At the time of the incident, Cruz was a trainee. He admitted to sharing the photos of the crash site with a bartender, who was a close friend.
Two days later, a deputy trainee named Joey Cruz walked into a Norwalk bar with the photos on his phone. He showed his phone to the bartender, who crowed to a nearby table about what he had seen
That didn’t sit well with one of the guys sitting there pic.twitter.com/IheIfzlL16
— Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) December 21, 2021
Initially, Rafel Mejia obtained the photos from a fire department personnel and saved them on his personal cell phone. Later Mejia shared the photos with Cruz. “Cruz then showed photos of the Bryants’ remains to a fellow bar patron and the restaurant’s bartender, and he is seen on the bar’s security camera zooming in and out of the images while displaying them to the bartender,” as stated in the suit.
Joey Cruz regrets sharing the photos of Kobe Bryant and the crash site
The acts of negligence from Cruz and others cost Los Angeles County a huge amount of money. However, he was apologetic for his acts and regrets sharing the photos of Kobe and the crash site. “I took it too far and did something I shouldn’t have.” Said Cruz to the Los Angeles federal judge on sharing the photos of the crash site. Cruz further said that he was, “stressed and overwhelmed” when sharing the photos.
Los Angeles Deputy Joey Cruz testified that he regretted showing photos of #KobeBryant‘s crash site to a bartender, stating that he took it too far and he was sorry. Law&Crime’s senior reporter Meghann Cuniff has the latest on what’s happening in the #VanessaBryant lawsuit trial. pic.twitter.com/qNDNlHqURK
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 16, 2022
The Jury heard the remaining deputies and members from the fire departments for sharing the photos, which showed the remains of the victims. As a punishment, Cruz received a 1-day suspension, and a fine to which he pleaded with the jury to be harsh. He claimed to have acquired the photos for a report, which he never did.