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Justin Bieber paparazzo killed: Lessons from this tragedy?

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Police repeatedly told him to return to his car, and while re-crossing Sepulveda to leave, the photographer was struck by on-coming traffic. Bieber was not in the car at the time; a friend was reportedly driving it.

In 2010, the state of California passed the “Paparazzi Bill” in an effort to avoid such incidents. The law cracked down on photographers for reckless driving, blocking sidewalks, and creating a sense of “false imprisonment,” in pursuit of celebrity photographs.

The amendments included fining photographers up to $5,000 – or a year in jail – for breaking traffic laws or impeding the operation of a celebrity's vehicle.

Despite the law and others protecting against stalking, the reckless pursuit of Hollywood’s glitterati continued. In July, after a similar incident involving Bieber and a photographer in a high-speed chase, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine told CNN the paparazzi pursuit of Bieber was, “…a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Authorities tried to use the new California "paparazzi law" in this hot-pursuit case, but Judge Thomas Rubinson of Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled on Nov. 13, that the law was overly broad. He said, "The law is problematic because it covers news-gathering activities protected by the First Amendment."

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