Justin Bieber might not have been involved in the accident that resulted in the death of the paparazzo identified as Chris Guerra after the man had been tailing Bieber’s Ferrari, but even the 18-year-old Canadian pop star can admit that the situation was “tragic.” He has released a statement following the incident that calls for better laws to prevent these kinds of things from happening.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim,” he writes. “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.”
This isn’t the first time Bieber has been involved in a paparazzi situation gone awry. He was pulled over in 2010 for speeding, but later defended his actions to the California Highway Patrol by saying that he was being chased by a freelance paparazzo. A law was passed in 2010 that punishes paparazzi for driving dangerously to take photos that they will later sell. However, in 2011 a judge threw out charges related to a paparazzi case because the judge claimed the law violated the photographer’s 1st Amendment rights. In July, a paparazzi chasing Bieber on the highway was slapped with four criminal charges.
Miley Cyrus echoed similar sentiments to Bieber after she heard the news about Guerra’s death.
“Hope this paparazzi/JB accident brings on some changes in ’13 Paparazzi are dangerous! Wasn’t Princess Di enough of a wake up call?!” she tweeted. “It is unfair for anyone to put this on to Justin’s conscious as well! 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.”