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Kanye West May Skate

9/12/2008 1:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Kanye West was not provoked into attacking a still photographer, according to an American Airlines employee who witnessed the whole scene that was caught on tape. Nevertheless, Kanye could easily beat the rap.
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Law enforcement sources told TMZ, at the time of the arrest, Kanye could be charged with felony vandalism. But here's what we know. The still camera that was broken is a Canon 40D -- retail price $1429.96. In California, someone who criminally damages property worth more than $400 can be prosecuted for felony vandalism.

But here's the rub: look closely at the video. Kanye and the bodyguard wrestle the camera away from the photog, but the bodyguard ends up with the camera ... Kanye is holding the light unit. We did some checking and found the light unit is only worth around $100, so here's the irony -- the bodyguard could be processed for a felony, but not Kanye.

BTW -- It was the bodyguard, not Kanye that broke our cam (retail value: $7000).

If Kanye is prosecuted at all, it's likely it would be for a misdemeanor. But prosecuting a celebrity where the victim is a paparazzo -- good luck, Mr. City Attorney.

125 COMMENTS

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31.

Boooooooooooooooooooorin    

He was not using the 560EX II, he was using the 220EX, you can easily tell in the freeze frame.
The 40D retails for $969 (body) and you have to figure out what lens he was using if it was the 17-85 EFs Kit lens then yes figure $1450.
Further Kanye initiated the action and was acting in concert with the other person, that IS a felony as they are BOTH responsible for the outcome. If some idiot came up to me and took $1700 worth of my stuff, they would be in jail.

2181 days ago
32.

gm    

if your in the getaway car for a robbery, your an accessory and prosecuted for the robbery. he should also be charged with assualt, theft, vandalism, and being a schmuck. his ego could use some county jail time.

2181 days ago
33.

law girl    

LOOK all you idiots who seem to have difficulty recognizing the law. You absolutely have "NO RIGHT" to put "YOUR HANDS' on "ANYBODY' or 'ANYBODY'S PROPERTY' PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!! For those uneducated idiots saying Mr. West was entitled cuz the paps were in his face, BIG EFFIN DEAL. Deal with it you spoiled rotten looser or should I say GHETTO BOY!!!!!!!!!

2181 days ago
34.

Sarah    

Good for him. Maybe if more celebrities took that approach on your vulture photographers things like that wouldn't have to happen. Why can't you people just give them some space and respect?

2181 days ago
35.

Hi Haters    

In reponse to everyone that has something negative to say about Kayne doing what he did are not in the situation to speak on how they would have reacted. Let someone or a group of people constantly follow you around snapping pictures and saying sarcastic and idiotic things to you especially after telling the a**holes to stop. You may walk away, you may say some bad things or as I like to call it just hit a bitch. Everyone knows that TMZ's photographers can act like little bitches with what comes out of there mouths and where I'm from I don't care if your the damn mayor you would get knocked out. What I would like to know is what the damn photographer said, they are keeping that part out. A fine and a slap on the wrist is sufficent not a felony are they kidding. In the words of Young Jeezy "You get more time for selling crack then murder", among other things.

2181 days ago
36.

WHOCARES    

KANYE IS A CRY BABY, HE'S ALWAYS CARRYIN THAT DAMN BACKPACK WITH HIM ITS MORE LIKE HIS DIAPER BAG. PROBABLY CARRIES HIS DIAPERS AND ENFAMIL IN THERE. HAHAHA. KANYE AIN'T SQUAT AND EITHER IS HIS MUSIC. YOU CAN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT HE'S SINGING ABOUT WITH HIS JACKED UP JAW. HE NEED TO GO TO A CORNER SUCK ON HIS THUMB AND CRY. HOPE JUSTICE IS DONE FOR WHAT HIS IDIOT SKINNY BODYGUARD DID AND KAN-AIN'T. KAN-AIN'T YOUR A PRE-SCHOOL DROP-OUT GET OUT OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.

2181 days ago
37.

WHOCARES    

DON C KAN-AIN'TS BOYGUARD, ROAD MANGER, BABY-SITTER WHATEVER HE IS. WELL, HE CHANGES KAN-AINTS DIAPERS ON A REGULAR BASIS.

2181 days ago
38.

jj    

Is there a rule of parties in California (coconspirator)?

2181 days ago
39.

Farmer Ted    

TMZ doesn't care about Black people

2181 days ago
40.

whocares    

The video shows Kayne taking the camera from the photographer. Doesn't that fall under robbery, taking the items by force (physical force is enough) or fear? A robbery charge would be felony....

2181 days ago
41.

barry Gordy is genius    

Paparazzi kilt Princess Di too.

2181 days ago
42.

Vajayjay    

Crabby.....SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!!! WHO ARE YOU TO SPEAK FOR EVERYONE ELSE????? I LOVE KANYE AND THE NAME SUITS YOU PERFECTLY!!!! NEXT TIME I WANT YOU TO SPEAK FOR ME I WILL LET YOU KNOW. K?

2181 days ago
43.

wazzy    

Prosecute Kanye every day on TMZ TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2181 days ago
44.

Tyler    

I don't believe for a second that you guys are running around with 7000 dollar video cameras.

2181 days ago
45.

DaddyZ    

How did the $100+ flash and the $1400+ camera mysteriously turn into $7000? "BTW -- It was the bodyguard, not Kanye that broke our cam (retail value: $7000)" Why not spring for a real camera like a Nikon D3? Finally someone stood up to your "rude, thoughtless little pig" cameramen. In some of the vids your guys are such douche bags!!! Grow up!

2181 days ago
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