Citing the stress of the plane crash, Brian Jordan resisted questions that brought him back to his actions that day, when lawyers for Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, claimed he was led by a deputy mayor to take photographs of the site, including the wreckage and remains of the victims.
“Kobe Bryant’s remains were among the photos?” Lewis Lee asked Bryant’s lawyer before Jordan cut him off.
“I need a break, I need a break,” Jordan said standing up. “I’m sorry for your honor,” he said, stepping off the stage for the first time out of three.
At one point, Lee indicated in his cross-examination that Jordan was leaving with his attorney each time.
Stephen Haney, Jordan’s attorney, told CNN that his client’s exit from the courtroom was not about legal issues, but the reaction to a “medical condition linked to his viewing of the crash scene and traumatizing him.”
Jordan has said repeatedly that he does not remember taking the photos because he has blocked his memory of that day since his retirement in early 2021.
Later, when another plaintiff’s attorney asked him if he had taken pictures of certain parts of the body, Jordan said, “The way the whole scene looked, this will haunt me forever, excuse me for being about to take another break.”
At times, Jordan declined specific questions from lawyers about what exactly he filmed that day and why.
“The only reason I’m sitting here is because someone threw my name at this whole thing,” Jordan said at the witness stand. He says a supervisor asked him to take a photo of the site as part of the fire department’s response to the accident.
“Maybe this was the day I should have been in disobedience,” Jordan said defiantly.
At one point, Hani, a Jordanian attorney, who is not one of the attorneys representing the defendant in Los Angeles County, intercepted from near the courtroom a question posed by the prosecutors, saying “asked and answered.” When the judge realized who had made the objection, he instructed Haney not to file any further objections.
LA County maintains that the photos were part of the necessary photography for the accident site and adequately contained their spread, arguing that the photos never appeared online.
The testimony continued with a series of Los Angeles County sheriffs who received and shared sensitive photos with each other, one of whom was an intern who showed the photos to a waiter he considered a friend.
Attorney Craig Lavoie asked, “Looking back, do you think there was any reason to receive these photos of the accident?”
“Looking back today, no.” Rep. Joey Cruz said, though he emphasized that he accepted them initially, thinking he might have been tasked with writing a report on the incident later.
Regarding the bartender, Cruz added, “He’s a close friend that I’m breathing for…I’ve gotten over him a lot, something I shouldn’t have done.”
Cruz will return to the witness stand on Tuesday.
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