Justin Bieber was cited for speeding, but the photographer the singer claims was chasing him may be charged under a 2010 law passed to help protect celebrities.
After all the talk over whether Justin Bieber may be charged in the traffic incident on a Los Angeles freeway earlier this month, no one has thought to ask whether the paparazzo that was chasing him would be charged also.
But it’s now looking like it’s possible.
But the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is not looking at charges of reckless driving. Instead, it is looking at a law passed only in 2010 that is supposed to protect stars from paparazzi.
“If a charge is filed, it would mark the first time anyone has been prosecuted under a 2010 California law that prohibits driving recklessly while attempting to take a photo,” said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney, according to Reuters.
Reuters reports that Mateljan’s office was “instrumental in getting the law passed by the state’s legislature.”
A city councilman has called for harsher punishment for Bieber, because he said he was going at least 100 mph that day in his Fisker Karma sports car.
“He was driving in a careless, reckless fashion,” Councilman Dennis Zine told Reuters.
But police disagree with the councilman and say the singer was cited appropriately.
“Bieber, whom police described as polite and cooperative when pulled over, was issued a traffic ticket for speeding and was released,” Reuters said. “He was cited for driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.”
Bieber told police at the time he was being chased by paparazzi. Police said there was a second photographer chasing the 18-year-old, but it sped away when Bieber was pulled over.
When passed, the California Newspaper Publishers Association worried that journalists could be “needlessly prosecuted” for traveling to the scene of an accident, Reuters said. But the law was intended to prevent an incident such as this one, which put numerous people in danger.