New laws to protect celebrities from the paparazzi are being considered in Los Angeles.
Lately the hordes of photographers – many of them amateurs with camera-phones – have created mob scenes and even brawls that resulted in injuries.
Celebrities have complained, and so have some police who have to spend so much time protecting the stars. One of the suggested remedies is a local anti-paparazzi law that would create a “personal safety zone” between photographers and their subjects.
At a meeting in Los Angeles City Hall, attended the by representatives of both sides, it was claimed that controlling photographers’ behaviour was a matter of public safety. It was claimed that photographers run in packs, ignore red lights and make illegal u-turns in pursuit of their quarry.
Occasionally this has resulted, it was claimed, in personal injuries. Some photographers have had their toes run over by celebrities fleeing in their heavy SUVs. Others have been hurt in fist fights.
The Los Angeles Police Department, trying to maintain a neutral stance, did not attend the meeting. Police chief William Bratton dubbed the hearing a waste of time and even suggested that sometimes the fracas are as much the fault of the celebrities as the cameramen.
“If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving, Paris is out of town not bothering anybody, and evidently Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don’t seem to have much of an issue,” the police chief said.