Bieber calls for tough rules after paparazzo death

GREG RISLINGAssociated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The 29-year-old photographer had just snapped shots of Justin Bieber's exotic white Ferrari when he was struck and killed by a passing car -- a death that has spurred renewed debate over dangers paparazzi can bring on themselves and the celebrities they chase.

The accident prompted some stars including the teen heartthrob himself on Wednesday to renew their calls for tougher laws to rein in their pursuers, though previous urgings have been stymied by First Amendment protections.

In a statement, Bieber said his prayers were with the photographer's family. Ironically, the singer wasn't even in the Ferrari on Tuesday.

"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.

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?!"

Paparazzi roaming the streets of Southern California have been commonplace for more than a decade as the shutterbugs looked to land exclusive shots that can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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.

"This photographer evidently had been following the white Ferrari" and when it was pulled over after sundown 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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  • wasn't safe for him to be there and to return to his vehicle. Sorry for the ones he leaves behind. I would imagine that he is told to do whatever it takes to get these pictures., this is what would determine who is working the hardest to make a name for themselves and to gain finiancial stability. Again, another sad moment..