Deputy Accused Of Taking Kobe Crash Pics Involved In Excessive Force Scandal

Deputy Accused Of Taking Kobe Crash Pics Involved In Excessive Force Scandal

Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit V. L.A. Cnty
Deputy Who Took Alleg. Crash Pics
… Involved in Excessive Force Scandal

6/17/2022 6: 33 PM PT

Vanessa Bryant wants a jury to know that the sheriff’s deputy accused of taking helicopter crash scene photos of Kobe Bryant was involved in another scandal involving excessive force where a handcuffed inmate’s head was allegedly knelt on.

But, L.A. County insists that the other incident is irrelevant and would seriously prejudice jurors.

About a year after Kobe, Gigi, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash, there was an incident inside a county jail involving a deputy named Doug Johnson … who’s accused of kneeling on the head of a handcuffed inmate for several minutes. The March 2021 incident received national news attention.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department tried to keep the details of the incident secret… believing that it would be a bad publicity stunt for the department.

This isn’t the first scandal Doug Johnson has allegedly been involved in… ’cause he was accused of being one the deputies who took photos of Kobe’s remains at crash site.

Photos were then allegedly shown to civilians — without authorization — in places like bars.

Now, lawyers for L.A. County are asking a judge to prevent Vanessa’s attorney’s from raising the issue during the defamation and negligence trial — filed by the Bryant family in 2020 — and set to begin in July.

The county, according to documents filed Friday, claims that the jail incident is “entirely not related” to Vanessa’s case. They claim that bringing up a hot topic like excessive force could have a significant impact on the outcome of the trial.

Lawyers from the county asked Vanessa’s legal team if it would be okay not to bring up the second incident… but VB’s lawyer refused, according the L.A. Times. L.A. County then filed the motion.

A judge has yet to decide on L.A. County’s request.

Here’s the footage of Deputy Douglas Johnson kneeling on the head of Enzo Escalante, leaked to Knock LA. @AleneTchek reported on claims that Sheriff Villanueva directed a cover-up of the investigation of this use-of-force & is now the subject of a department investigation.

— Knock LA (@KnockDotLA) April 27, 2022

Johnson was caught on camera leading an inmate down a hallway before the man, who was awaiting a murder trial, punched him several times in the face. Once Johnson got the 24-year-old inmate under control and handcuffed, he allegedly knelt on the inmates head for around 3 minutes.

The incident was captured on surveillance video.

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