Cops circulating crime scene photos isn’t unique to the Kobe Bryant crash — it’s been happening since the O.J. Simpson murder case — with an ex-LAPD officer testifying he saw a polaroid of Nicole Brown Simpson‘s dead body.
Former Los Angeles Police Department officer Adam Bercovici, an expert witness hired by Vanessa Bryant‘s legal team, testified he and other cops at his station saw a close-up of Nicole’s body following her June 1994 murder.
The former police officer testified illicit photos of human remains — so-called “death books” — are common among law enforcement … and not something unique to the Kobe crash.
Bercovici testified there were no legitimate reasons for the deputies to take photographs of the remains.
Despite this being an issue that’s painful for the family and friends of the deceased, Bercovici says not nearly enough has been done to end the practice.
Luella Weireter, wife of an LAFD fire captain also took the stand, testifying she witnessed a group, including another fire captain, view the photos at a local awards show about three weeks after the fatal crash.
Weireter, who says she did not look at the photos, overheard another woman say “I can’t believe I just looked at Kobe’s burnt-up body and now I’m about to eat.”
It’s just one of the ghastly and gruesome moments from the trial … which started earlier this week, and has been very emotional for Vanessa and her family.
Bryant sobbed in court Thursday during opening statements, when her attorney told the 10-person jury that 8 L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies snapped pics of Kobe and Gigi‘s bodies at the helicopter crash scene for nothing personal use.
Vanessa’s lawyer says she lives “in fear, anxiety and terror” that the pics will someday be released … saying she will be forever haunted by the deputies’ actions.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, who was Kobe’s agent, took the stand Thursday and was barely able to speak when talking about his close relationship with KB.
On Thursday, the jury heard from a bartender in L.A. … who testified a deputy showed him crash scene photos at his bar. Bryant’s attorney showed screen grabs from surveillance video that appeared to show the bartender laughing after seeing the grisly photos.
In her lawsuit, Vanessa claims the deputies’ conduct caused her severe emotional distress, saying the photos were an invasion of privacy. Lawyers for L.A. County say Vanessa’s emotional distress is a result of the fatal crash, not the photos.
The trial is expected to go through next week.