Justin Bieber. Photo Reuters
Pop star Justin Bieber has called the death of a
paparazzo, who was chasing his white Ferrari in Los Angeles, a
tragic accident and said he hoped it would spur action to
safeguard the lives of celebrities, police and photographers.
Police said the freelance photographer, whose name has not
officially been released, was killed by another driver on
Tuesday evening (local time) after he crossed a busy highway
to snap pictures of the Ferrari that had been stopped by
police for speeding.
Bieber, 18, was not in the sports car, which was reportedly
being driven by a friend.
"While I was not present nor directly involved with this
tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family
of the victim," the "Boyfriend" singer said in statement.
Bieber, who is followed day and night by photographers, said
he hoped the incident "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."
Celebrity website TMZ.com said the photographer was following
the Ferrari after seeing it pulling out of a Beverly Hills
hotel on Tuesday evening, believing Bieber was inside the
Los Angeles police said the photographer was seen taking
pictures of the traffic stop and was ordered by highway
patrol officers to return to his car for safety reasons. He
was struck by another motorist while trying to cross four
lanes of traffic.
Bieber was stopped by police for speeding on a Los Angeles
freeway last July, when the Canadian teen sensation told
police he was being hounded by paparazzi.
But a Los Angeles judge in November threw out criminal
charges against the photographer who was charged in that case
under a new California law aimed at cracking down on
aggressive photographers and celebrity media. Judge Thomas
Robinson called the 2010 law "problematic" and "overly
The death on Tuesday brought calls from some other
celebrities for a halt to the sometimes 24/7 tracking of
their activities at work, home and leisure.
Singer Miley Cyrus, 20, a frequent paparazzi target, sent out
a stream of Twitter messages, referencing the death of
Britain's Princess Diana in a 1997 car crash while being
chased by paparazzi in Paris.
"Hope this paparazzi/JB accident brings on some changes in
'13 Paparazzi are dangerous! Wasn't Princess Di enough of a
wake up call?!" Cyrus tweeted.
"This was bound to happen! Your mom teaches u when your a
child not to play in the street! The chaos that comes with
the paparazzi acting like fools makes it impossible for
anyone to make safe choices," Cyrus added.