Judge Reviewing Justin Bieber Police Footage Before Release
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.21.2014
To make sure his genitals aren't showing...
Billboard reports that Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield will review ten hours of police video taken after Justin Bieber's January 23 arrest in Miami Beach. He will then rule if parts of it should be kept from a public release, including clips of Bieber peeing in a cup for a drug test. The Associated Press, The Miami Herald and others want the video to be released and say there's no exemption in Florida's open records law that would keep it from being made public.
Attorney Deeana Shullman (working with several media outlets including AP) said: "The right of privacy cannot trump the right of access to public records. My clients have no interest in showing Mr. Bieber's private parts. You have to redact that and release the rest."
Shullman and Scott Ponce, who represents Miami's CBS affiliate and The Herald, and state prosecutors agreed with the plan to review the four clips that show Bieber urinating. Bieber's attorney Howard Srebnick said it was "insulting" that the videos could be released with only Bieber's genitals censored, since he says it's a violation of privacy. He added: "There's no reason why the media should make a spectacle of that event."
Altfield will have another hearing on March 4, which means the March 3 court date will be delayed. Any potential agreements about the release of the material should be made by Wednesday. He said: "It's prudent for us to make sure we're all on the same page, all of us."
Bieber pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of DUI, resisting arrest and diving with an expired license. Police say Bieber and singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were stopped due to an illegal drag race in sports cars in a quiet neighborhood in the area. Bieber's toxicology test from his urine sample found the active ingredient in marijuana and the antidepressant Xanax. A breath test had Bieber's blood-alcohol content below Florida's 0.02 limit for underage drivers.
Other news organizations wanting the release of the footage include the Orlando Sentinel; Scripps Media Inc. representing the Naples Daily News, the St. Lucie News Tribune, Stuart News, TCPalm.com, the Vero Beach Press Journal, WPTV-TV and WFTS-TV; and the SunSentinel Co.