Friday , Aug , 01 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Report: Investigator In Bryant Case Named In Racial Profiling Lawsuit

Eagle County Paid Out $800,000 In Settlement

There’s new information emerging in the Kobe Bryant case. ABC News has learned that an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy involved in the investigation was named in a previous racial profiling settlement.

In 1995, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office agreed to pay $800,000 after being sued for racial profiling. More than 400 ethnic minorities said they were wrongfully pulled over when driving on the nearby interstate. One officer named in the lawsuit is a now a key investigator in the case against the NBA superstar.

An ABC News legal expert and former prosecutor said this new information could be damaging to the prosecution’s case.

“I think this is explosive evidence, and I am shocked that in fact the authorities in Eagle County had this individual, these people, involved in this case because again, this (shows) shades of Mark Fuhrman and the O.J. Simpson case,” legal expert Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Be sure that the defense is going to bring this up and if that investigator or the people involved in the profiling case take the stand, they will be cross-examined about it. (The defense) will definitely try to bring it out in front of the jury. We saw that in the beginning of the case, them trying to assert, essentially, that this was a racially biased or motivated case.”

Report: Investigator In Bryant Case Named In Racial Profiling Lawsuit