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Doug Johnson, who is he? Vanessa Bryant wants the jury to hear about a sheriff’s deputy’s tumultuous past.
Vanessa Bryant, Dough Johnson’s wife, wants the jury to know that her husband was involved in an incident in which he reportedly kneeled on a detained inmate’s head.
It’s been over two years since NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death was announced. He and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26, 2020. Doug Johnson, the investigating deputy, snapped images and made them public without permission. Vanessa Bryant, the legend’s wife, has since taken the matter to court, accusing the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department of carelessness and violation of privacy over the photo sharing. She now wants the jury to know that the sheriff’s deputy, Doug Johnson, is also accused of kneeling on the head of a restrained detainee in another incident.
Vanessa filed a lawsuit against the deputy in September 2020, alleging that the county sheriff and fire department employees took and shared photos from the crash that killed the basketball player and their daughter, as well as seven other passengers. According to USA Today, the county filed documents in court on June 17 in order to keep the Johnson jail incident from coming up in Bryant’s trial against the county, which is set for late July.
‘There are moments when it swallows her,’ Vanessa Bryant said of the deaths of Kobe and Gianna.
Kobe Bryant died ‘quickly’ after the crash and was buried in a California cemetery on February 7, according to his death certificate.
There have been two major scandals in the department.
According to the LA Times, the county attorneys argue that the force incident and cover-up have “nothing to do with” Bryant’s charges, which has become one of the department’s most prominent scandals under Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s term. They said, however, that Bryant’s lawyers would not agree to allow questions regarding it to be asked during the trial. As a result, they want a judge to make the decision.
In a brief, county attorneys stated, “The incident in the jail and LASD’s response are totally unconnected to the crash scene images at issue in this matter.” “The episode is not only irrelevant, but also very incendiary,” it said, “touching on one of our society’s most controversial topics, allegations of excessive force by police officers.”
According to a LA Times report from this year, Enzo Escalante, a 24-year-old convict, allegedly hit sheriff’s deputy Doug Johnson in the face. Escalante was wrestled to the ground by Johnson and other deputies, with Johnson placing his knee on the inmate’s head. Johnson kept his knee on Escalante’s head for three minutes after he was arrested and did not appear to be resisting, according to security footage from the incident.
The event occurred on March 10, 2021, two days after jury selection began in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck.