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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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106.

yer mom's soo effin hot!!    

even though this scene is hella crazy, i love the part where he throws the camera on the ground. so much intent, it's funny! i'mma try that some day. with another persons camera, of course.

2167 days ago
107.

Fox    

Did I miss something here? I thought only the non-TMZ guy's camera was broken. When did TMZ get a $7,000 cam destroyed? In the video when the thug in the red goes for the TMZ guy it doesn't seem like he breaks it, just seems like he's trying to take it from him when the security guys step in. This is a genuine question here.

2167 days ago
108.

LULU    

YES, THE PAPS ARE A PAIN, AND HAVE GOTTEN CAUGHT IN THE SCRUM AT LAX WHILE TRYING TO CLAIM MY BAGS. IT'S PRETTY FRIGHTENING, ESPECIALLY WHEN MY DAUGHTER AND TWO GRAND SONS WERE MEETING ME. THE KIDS WERE SCARED OUT OF THEIR WITS, AND I'M NOT THE ONLY PASSENGER WHO WANTED TO TAKE A SWING AT THE IDIOTS WITH THE CAMERAS. THEY SHOULD BE BARRED FROM THE INSIDE OF THE TERMINAL! AS FOR KANYE, WHO CARES!!!!!!!

2167 days ago
109.

fjz85673    

tmz had it coming. sometimes people need their space, and don't a whole bunch of lame low-budget photographers all in their face. keep harassing celebrity's to get that shot. kanye and his bodyguard just did to you what every other single celebrity has wanted to do.

2167 days ago
110.

seriosuly    

It is really hard to drum up sympathy for paps as a whole since your tactics are sleazy and your morals are shoddy. I will look at the pictures occasionally but don't expect me to do anything but laugh if you get punched in the face, the crap beaten out of you by surfers, or your camera is broken every now and again..

Its kinda like the satisfaction you get watching a high speed chase on TV where some idiot won't pull over for unpaid tickets, risks about 100 lives with his dangerous driving, crashes and then tries to run on foot only to be tackled, punched and kicked by an group of officers.. same warm and toasty justice served moment.

Is it wrong? Yes. Is it satisfying..hell yes!!

Dangers of the job I guess.

2167 days ago
111.

Brandon    

lol its amazing the retardness level of u commenters getting mad at tmz for doing there job ..Kayne was at fault u idiots no matter which way u look at it ..Hes famous and in the spot light , its just what comes with it ..no reason to pick on the smallest photographer at the airport cause u had a bad day ...did u here them both say in the video 'there aint no police kepp callin " thats just being a bully .. i hope a camera man one day beats the hell outta him ..im done commenting on this subject cause im sick of all u stupid ppl with there little mtv mentality making unintelligent comments ..ur all a bunch of retards that will be in jail one day or welfare ..smartin up and open ur eyes READ A BOOK ITS GOOD FOR U = P ...LOL SO MANY STUPID PPL IT BAFFLES ME ..LATERS

2167 days ago
112.

Jenn    

Regardless of race or if you even like Kanye that fact still remains the same. Not all celebs want a camera shoved in their face 24/7. They deserve their privacy just like everybody else. I have no sympathy for the paps!

2167 days ago
113.

Greg    

He is such a little bitch. I would love to see him go to jail. Then he could finally be treated like the bitch his is.

2167 days ago
114.

BlackLawyergrrrl    

Actually, Kanye can be charged with the same crime as his manager/bodyguard. Theres a little thing called Conspiracy. When 2 or more are in agreement to commit a crime, they can be charged with Conspiracy plus whatever else the other person does. Conspiracy often carries a heavier penalty too. So if the prosecutor does decide to go after anyone, it'll be within their descretion to charge Kanye with. Then Kanye can choose whether he wants to have a jury trial or one decided by a judge (and that's only if there is no plea agreement).

2167 days ago
115.

name withheld    

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM'


I am getting frustrated with TMZ, we are on the verge breaking up. Especially when they mess with tone of the must talented artist of these past years. It's all about the music that makes you feel the funk. DUHHHHHHHHHHHH!

NEVER NEVER mess with talent. Kanye rocks the mike with a fresh beat that is incomparable.

Teemzters, the TV show is no good. The questions are embarrassing, and soon I will no longer be able to represent.



2167 days ago
116.

omg23    

I LUV K.W 2 DEATH BUT HE WAS WRONG 2 DO THAT JUST WALK AWAY AND MABYE SAY SOMETHING 2 HURT THIER FEELING BUT NEVER SMASH A THOUSAND DOLLAR CAMREA .

P.S I WAS THERE ON A FLIGHT 2 CHICAGO HE WAS ANGRY AS HELL

2167 days ago
117.

Disgusting    

Hope the City Attorney does prosecute. Sick of whiny celebs who think they are above the law. If they don't like the attention, get out of the business. Meanwhile, they don't turn away all the freebies and money that the attention bestows them.

Kanye West seems particularly whiny when he doesn't get his way. Why are black people so violent?

2167 days ago
118.

Vajayjay    

CRITICAL....I'M WITH U

2167 days ago
119.

ivanabeontop    

GOOD KANYE! TMZ you deserve to get your asses beat! Karma is a bitch isn't it!

2167 days ago
120.

GO KANYE!    

TMZ YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF PUCCIES SINCE YOU CALLED THE COPS ON KANYE, YOU GUYS LOVE TO HARASS CELEBRITIES AND WHEN THE TABLES ARE TURNED YOU RUN TO THE COPS AWWWWW POOR TMZ AND THEIR CAMERA LOLZZZZZZ Sh!TS FUNNY

2166 days ago
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