Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Bieber urges paparazzi crackdown

Justin Bieber issued a statement after the death of a photographer who took pictures of the pop star's car

Justin Bieber has called for tougher laws to control paparazzi after a 29-year-old photographer was killed by a passing car just after snapping shots of the star's white Ferrari.

The death on a Los Angeles street has triggered renewed debate over the dangers paparazzi can bring on themselves and the celebrities they chase. Previous calls for action have been blocked by the US constitution's First Amendment protections.

In a statement, Justin said his prayers were with the photographer's family. Ironically, the singer wasn't even in the Ferrari at the time.

"Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves," Justin said in the statement released by Island Def Jam Music Group.

Authorities have withheld the name of the photographer, killed after being hit by a Toyota Highlander, pending notification of relatives.

Much of Hollywood was abuzz about the death, including Miley Cyrus, who sent several tweets critical of some of the actions of paparazzi and lamenting that the unfortunate accident was "bound to happen".

"Hope this paparazzi/JB accident brings on some changes in '13," Cyrus said on her Twitter page. "Paparazzi are dangerous! Wasn't Princess Di enough of a wake-up call?!"

On Tuesday, a friend of Bieber's was behind the wheel of the Ferrari when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled it over for speeding along Interstate 405, authorities said.

The photographer stood on a low freeway railing to shoot photographs of the traffic stop over a chain-link fence, authorities said. "The CHP officer told him numerous times that it wasn't safe for him to be there and to return to his vehicle," LA Police Detective Charles Walton said.

There were no pavements or pedestrian crossings along the street where the photographer had parked, so the driver of the car that struck him had no reason to expect a pedestrian, the officer said of the accident.

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