Former Los Angeles official says he doesn’t know who Gianna Bryant was

  • A former Los Angeles County fire officer has delivered tense testimony in the ongoing Vanessa Bryant case.
  • Retired fire captain Brian Jordan said he took 25 to 30 photos of the crash that killed Kobe Bryant.
  • Jordan testified that he took the photos at the behest of his boss, but did not remember the details.

A former Los Angeles County firefighter accused of taking and sharing photos of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, took a combative approach in court Monday. when he testified that he was simply following orders at the scene of the tragedy.

Retired LACFD fire captain and security officer Brian Jordan abruptly left the stand three separate times during his tense Monday morning testimony that kicked off the fourth day of the trial between Vanessa Bryant and Los Angeles County.

Bryant filed a lawsuit against the county and other defendants over allegations that Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies and Los Angeles County Fire Department captains took and shared photos of the helicopter crash site in late January. of 2020.

Jordan had made efforts to try to avoid testifying before trial, filing a protective order citing the impact of the gruesome crash site on his mental health. His negative mental health was the same reason she gave for retiring early after she was issued a letter of intent to fire because of the wrong photos of the crash site.

“I’m here on false accusations, because someone put my name in the mix,” Jordan said in court Monday.

Jordan, who wore a blue suit and spoke in a booming voice, was short on the stand and very reluctant to discuss the details of the scene. He said that he was frequently asked to take photos of such sites as part of his role as public information officer at the LACFD at times.

The retired fire officer testified that he took approximately 25 to 30 photos at the scene of the helicopter crash, but told the courtroom that he did not remember anything specific about them.

“I don’t remember the accident,” Jordan testified. “I don’t remember what I did,” he added later that “I might have been ordered to cover up for someone.”

Jordan said he only took the photos because his superior, Fire Chief Anthony Marrone, told him to, a claim Marrone denied in an earlier statement.

“Maybe that was the day he should have been insubordinate,” Jordan told the court.

When an attorney for Bryant asked Jordan whether or not Kobe Bryant’s remains appeared in any of the photos he took, Jordan abruptly left the courtroom accompanied by his attorney, saying he needed a break. Jordan paused in his own testimony two more times afterward, walking out of the room with his attorney each time.

“I had an image in my head that wasn’t pretty,” he later said. “There are these images that I’ve been living with every day.”

Bryant’s attorney also asked if Jordan took photos of the remains of 13-year-old Gianna Bryant at the scene.

“I don’t even know who she is. I’m sorry for your loss, wherever Vanessa Bryant is,” he replied. Vanessa Bryant was sitting in the plaintiffs’ box, a few feet from Jordan.

Jordan testified that he sent the photos he took to former Los Angeles County Fire Department PIO Tony Imbrenda, who is accused of sharing the photos at a February 2020 gala.

Jordan confirmed that he had since deleted all the footage and returned all of his county-issued electronic devices, claiming he had failed to remove a hard drive from a work laptop after an allegation he may have from Vanessa Bryant’s attorney. Louis Li.

His testimony came after Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Johnson, another first responder accused of taking and sharing the photos, testified Friday that he has “no regrets” about how the crash scene was handled. In a defiant moment Monday, Jordan told the court “you’re not going to put me up against my deputy brother.”

On January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, baseball coach John Altobelli, and their family crashed near Malibu, California while en route to a women’s basketball game. All nine people on board, including the pilot, Ara Zobayan, were killed in the crash.

In September 2020, Vanessa Bryant sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the county fire department, the county as a whole, and eight officers over reports that first responders took and shared photos of the crash site. January 2020.

Chris Chester, whose wife, Sarah, and daughter Payton were killed in the crash, is also suing county workers over the same claims and will have a consolidated nine-day lawsuit alongside Bryant’s against the county.

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