Bieber wants tougher paparazzi law after photographer killed
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 6:52AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2013 6:06PM EST
Justin Bieber is calling for legislative change after a photographer taking pictures of the superstar’s Ferrari was fatally struck by a car on a busy Los Angeles road.
The 29-year-old paparazzo, whose name has not been released, was killed Tuesday when he darted across the street after snapping pictures of Bieber’s luxury car.
Bieber had lent the Ferrari to a friend and wasn’t in the vehicle at the time.But the Canadian singer issued a statement saying his prayers are with the photographer’s family.
"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," Bieber said.
L.A. police said the Ferrari was pulled over for speeding and the photographer, who was “evidently” following the car, parked his vehicle across the street and got out to take photos.
Det. Charles Walton said the officer who pulled the Ferrari over told the photographer “numerous times” that it wasn’t safe for him to be on the busy street. The man also stood on a freeway railing to shoot photos, police said.
When the photographer attempted to cross the road once again, he was struck by a car. Police said the driver, a 69-year-old woman, likely won’t be charged because she had no reason to expect a pedestrian on a stretch of road that has no marked crossings or sidewalks.
Six months ago, another photographer was charged with reckless driving after Bieber complained that his car was being chased.
The state of California enacted harsher punishments in 2010 for those who drive dangerously in pursuit of photos for commercial gain, but a judge ruled that the “paparazzi law” was overly broad.
Prosecutors are expected to appeal the ruling.
In the meantime, other celebrities are joining Bieber in calling for tougher measures against paparazzi who follow them daily.
“Hope this paparazzi/JB accident brings on some changes in '13,” Miley Cyrus tweeted. “Paparazzi are dangerous! Wasn't Princess Di enough of a wake up call?!”
With files from The Associated Press