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Justin Bieber

Photog JUSTIFIES

Car Chase

8/9/2012 9:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0809-justin-bieber-bauer-stop-article-4The paparazzo who has been criminally charged with chasing Justin Bieber down the 101 Freeway last month will plead not guilty, claiming it's the same situation as a news reporter rushing to a fire.

Photog Paul Raef's lawyer, David Kestenbaum, tells TMZ ... his client is no different than a traditional news reporter covering a breaking story, and therefore he has a constitutional right to chase it.

Raef is the first person charged under California's new "Paparazzi Law," enhancing the punishment when a photog creates a dangerous situation for profit.

Kestenbaum tells TMZ, Raef will challenge the new law, presumably on grounds that it violates his First Amendment right to freedom of the press.

After today's hearing, David told reporters it's unfair Bieber got off with just a speeding ticket, while his client now faces a reckless driving charge. 

080912_bieber_pap_presser_launch_swipe

update_bar
10:26AM PST:  Kestenbaum just asked the judge to dismiss the charges. The judge has not ruled.  Raef did not enter a plea.

98 COMMENTS

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31.

.    

Journalist's take Journalism ETHICS courses.
.
Paparazzi buy disposable cameras at 7-11.

772 days ago
32.

all about the money    

Umm even if a reporter is rushing to the scene of a fire they still can not violate laws or endanger other people. ONLY emergency response personnel can speed to the scene of a "fire" even then they still have to do it safely and not recklessly as all parties in this case acted. And I really hate how these people throw First Amendment around all the time. As far as I know it doesn't give you the right to stalk, harass, and endanger anyone. Wonder what some of these paps would do if the stars hired camera people to follow the paps around everywhere, snapping pictures all the time, peaking in windows, standing in the way preventing them from driving their vehicles, digging through their trash, sneaking into their yards, harassing family members...you know what paps do to the stars all the time. Wonder how long they would deal with it before running over, punching, throwing something etc at their very own stalker pap.

772 days ago
33.

ginnacali    

He should be ticketed for the color of this car alone. What a distraction.

772 days ago
34.

Me    

I don't mean to sound completely ignorant, but I am curious about the culture here (I am not American). Does the media in the USA get more leeway because they are media?

I was watching the Newsroom the other day and had the same feeling that the "media" felt that it could break rules if there was news. In the episode walking around a grounded plane, just because they felt they had to get the news out and they knew better than the trained flight attendant.

Again, apologies that I sound ignorant to the situation, I am just wondering if that is a normal thing or something emphasized by TV.

772 days ago
35.

Dave    

Would like to know since the death of princess Diana was a result of one of these chases. That they are still doing this and getting away with it. Shouldn't there be a less dangerous way of approaching celelbrities. Especially a kid like this. Or were they really
trying to frighten this kid...............Dave.

772 days ago
36.

Pimpcessa    

First of all, the tint on his windows is so dark, if he didn't want to be photographed, he could put up his window. You can't see **** through those windows, so no pic.

Second, normally I feel a little bad for the celebs that are getting into their car, at night, and all the lights from the paps cameras blind them. And some of them just won't move from around their car, so they are basically held hostage unless they run the pap over. Or when they're walking down the street and some pap is two inches from their face with a camera. That would make me lose it.


But to put other peoples lives in danger because you don't want a picture taken of you, is criminal! I agree that celebs need to realize that this is the price of fame sometimes, and some paps go way past the point o decent human behavior. But I also feel that if this guy goes to jail over this, Bieber will feel validated, and will get much worse with his actions. Wait till he kills someone and tries to use that same excuse.

772 days ago
37.

Adrienne    

Maybe if Justin Bieber was on fire you would of had a case.

772 days ago
38.

IceGypsy    

Sorry, you may have a right to chase a story, but it's not your constitutional right to endanger the people around you in doing so.

772 days ago
39.

Pimpcessa    

I also feel it should be illegal to have his car chromed out like that. Imagine being blinded by that thing on a sunny day and stuck in traffic, not being able to get around/away from it. I'd have to beat the Biebs butt!

772 days ago
40.

verlinda    

They should this ******* and his lawyer in jail. One for the chase risking lives, and the other for no compassion for life

772 days ago
41.

Pimpcessa    

I don't think for one minute that Bieber thought he was in any danger at all. I think he's a young punk, with entitlement issues, a fast car and was racing another idiot on the highway. Kids his age have been doing it forever. This whole pap thing is just his excuse. Nothing more. A camera isn't a lethal weapon. But this idiot thinks he's a big man now that he's rich and famous, and the rules don't apply to him anymore. Especially when he can buy his way out of trouble. Who wants to bet he hires Shawn Holley in the next couple years?

772 days ago
42.

John    

WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?

"Photog Paul Raef's lawyer, David Kestenbaum, tells TMZ ... his client is no different than a traditional news reporter covering a breaking story, and therefore he has a constitutional right to chase it."

You do not have a right to break the law to cover a story. There is no protection in freedom of the press to cover crap like speeding, endangering the lives of others or getting in the way of first responders.

I remember the Nor Cal fire of 2008 and I was reporting for a fire website etc. I had press card etc and they arrested several media guys because they kept crossing lines and caught them speeding around etc.

This lawyer is so full of **** that I am shocked he can even open is mouth and not have **** just pouring out of it......

772 days ago
43.

Jordan    

If i was on the jury i would have to vote not quilty, because Justin Johonson was the one with the turbo charged spetscar that was much faster than the paps car Justin was not in any physical danger he could have slowed down got off the highway and went directly to a police station. This photog under the constitution has the right to freedom of the press. Justin Johnson wanted to see how fast and how his chrome plated sports car would handle and Justin usesed this photog to do it.

772 days ago
44.

anonymous    

I'm sorry but this photog is an idiot to think he has the right to chase anyone at a high rate of speed and almost cause a huge car crash on a freeway. Justin Bieber is just as guilty as he is driving like a fool. These celeb morons ALL think they are above the law. SO SICK!

772 days ago
45.

John    

Also under California law if you chase someone and even if Justin was not scared or not but if you chase someone down you can be charged with road rage but if anyone gets hurt the person chasing gets busted... There have been people charged with manslaughter because they chased someone and there was a accident and a bystander died.

772 days ago
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