Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

January 2, 2013

Paparazzo killed after taking shots of Bieber car

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A paparazzo was struck and killed by a car while darting across a street after taking pictures of Justin Bieber's Ferrari when it was pulled over along a freeway in Los Angeles, police said Wednesday.

Bieber was not in the car at the time. The singer later said his prayers were with the family of the 29-year-old photographer who was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the accident late Tuesday afternoon.

His name was withheld by police pending notification of relatives.

"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 in the statement released by Island Def Jam Music Group.

The death came about six months after another photographer was charged with reckless driving and with violating a 2010 California law that toughened punishment for those who drive dangerously in pursuit of photos for commercial gain.

However, a judge later dismissed the paparazzi law charges, saying the law was overly broad and violated First Amendment free-speech protections.

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

"This photographer evidently had been following the white Ferrari" and when it was pulled over he stopped, parked and crossed the street to snap photos, Los Angeles police Detective Charles Walton 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," Walton said.

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