Justin Bieber's Bodyguard Chokes Photographer, Steals Memory Card

A local news photographers shot this photo Tuesday night and ended up in a confrontation with Bieber’s bodyguard.


Miami-Dade police are investigating Justin Bieber’s bodyguard for choking a photographer and stealing his memory card, which are actions they generally condone.

That may explain why they didn’t bother making an arrest this afternoon.

Instead, they gave the photographer a case number and told him he could pursue it with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which means it will probably go nowhere.

According to Jose Lambiert’s Gossip Extra:

Pop star Justin Bieber‘s bodyguards are accused to rouging up a paparazzo taking photos of Bieber skateboarding near a North Miami recording studio this afternoon, Gossip Extra has confirmed.

Miami Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland tells me an officer responded to a report of an assault taking place outside The Hit Factory on NE 149th Street this afternoon.

When the officer arrived, he talked it over with the bodyguards and the shutterbug, and gave the lensman a case number that will allow him to file a complaint.

The allegations are that the Biebs’ bodyguards choked the pap and took the memory card out of his camera.

“The officer concluded that what occurred may have been a simple battery,” Rutland said. “Now, the photographer can pursue this with the state attorney’s office if he chooses.”

Last night, a Bieber bodyguard, possibly the same as the one from above, confronted a local news photographer who took his picture at the Miami Heat playoff game inside the American Airlines Arena.

The photographer, who works for Local 10, did not want to be identified, probably out of fear that he would be forever and embarrassingly tagged as a Bieber fan.

According to Local 10:

According to the photographer, who asked not to be identified, one of Bieber’s boys came over and demanded he delete the picture from his cell phone. Then the bodyguard approached and made the same request.

Of course, the photographer politely explained that he wasn’t deleting anything.

Before the exchange got out of hand, a security guard for AmericanAirlines Arena stepped in and basically told the bodyguard to get lost.  Before he left though, he asked the photographer one more time to delete the picture.

The story insinuates that the bodyguard was about to get violent with the photographer,  which should have prompted him to start video recording, even if all he had was his cell phone.

Because without that type of evidence, Bieber’s bodyguards can apparently go wild on photographers and end up with nothing but a police report that won’t go anywhere.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Rob

    Bieber’s bodyguard is lucky he didn’t get shot. If I’m not carrying concealed while I’m out and about, and someone were to ever try attacking me, I am 99.9% sure that my magnesium alloy Olympus OM-D would quickly ruin their day as I attempted to emboss the word Olympus into their forehead.

    (btw, I apologize for that little rant. Stories like this make the internet tough guy in me come out to say hello)

    • http://www.dan-vidal.com/ Pod

      Agreed Rob. I don’t advocate violence upon any person, but sadly I think that it will take an escalation to the levels you envision in order for the public to wake up to situations like this. Does a hapless bodyguard have to get seriously hurt to make people wake up? I’d make a horrible bodyguard for a celebrity by the way. The minute gunplay became apparent, I’d be like “Sorry Justin, I have family to worry about, your music sucks, bye!”

      If the photographer was on public property, which appears to be the case, he had every right to photograph Justin Bieber skating around, even if Justin was within the confines of the Hit Factory’s property. I’ve been the Hit Factory, and while the building itself is obviously well-concealed, the parking areas are plainly visible from the public streets. The key phrase here is “Outside the Hit Factory”.

      Kid just needs to deal with it and move on.

      PINAC photo protest at the Hit Factory?

      • Scott

        You don’t have to be on public property to legally photograph nor does the person you are photographing have to be on public property. The photographer could have been standing on some stairs owned by a business and he still has every right to photograph Bieber or anyone else.

        • Difdi

          Exactly right. The worst thing that can legally happen to a photographer if he’s not on public property when he takes his picture(s) is an arrest for trespassing. Even if arrested and charged, he still owns the pictures he took and cannot be compelled to delete them.

          The frequent demand to delete photos or else (be arrested, be sued, be charged with a crime, be roughed up, etc, etc) meets the legal definition of extortion/coercion in just about every state. That’s a felony, most places.

          • kylejack

            Can’t be arrested for trespassing unless he hops a fence or violates a “No Trespassing” sign in most jurisdictions. Something like a mall with public access is open season, for example.

            However, there is such a thing as violating a person’s privacy. Trespassing on property to take a photo of a nude sunbather in their back yard is a larger crime than just trespass.

          • Difdi

            Not true. If the owner of a property or their agent orders you out, you go one way or another, either of your own volition or in handcuffs.

            As for trespassing to be a peeping tom, that’s a completely different issue, with no relation to what we were discussing. OF COURSE invading privacy is a bad thing — But the photographer we’re discussing didn’t do that.

          • kylejack

            That’s not what you said.

            “he worst thing that can legally happen to a photographer if he’s not on
            public property when he takes his picture(s) is an arrest for

            Refusing to leave will get you arrested for trespassing, not being on private property and taking a picture.

          • Difdi

            Police sometimes take the viewpoint that no one would call them if the trespasser had left when told to, so they show up and start making arrests without talking at all.

            One moment you’re taking photographs unaware the property owner dislikes it (or having questioned about photography but not asked to leave) and the next you’re in handcuffs.

            So yeah, that IS what I said.

          • kylejack

            If a property owner or one of their proxies such as a security guard tell you to leave, you must leave. Taking the photograph isn’t the crime, remaining on the property after you’ve been told to leave is.

        • Barking Dog

          I think the law in NYC says what can be seen reasonably from the street is fair game. Don’t know how that affects drones but sound is a no no.

          That guy who had the art show of peeped windows in NYC had the right to take the shots, using as he did was questionable.

          If you legally are on private property and take pics of another property that seems legal too. However, I’ve seen the NY Post hand over film (back in the day) because their lawyers told them to, shots from a bar scene.

          Legally, the bodyguard may have been right if both were inside the same venue. If he was next door, curtains cure that.

          Choking and robbery are not what’s proscribed as remedy tho…..

      • tiny

        sure thing, ill be there, perhaps! time and what day?

  • $22798478

    I will take the first blow, but after that I’m in fear for my life and I’m going to stand my ground and I will pull my gun and will use it. I will do my best to kill you so your voice can’t be heard. The grand jury will see the first blow images to see that someone was trying to KILL ME ! I was IN FEAR FOR MY LIFE !

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-Lawyer

      God, I hate to say this, but you’re right. Especially since his bodyguards are known to be armed.

      Except I would not recommend that you try to “kill” him, just to stop him from attacking you. Granted, this means putting all of your shots center mass, but your intent should be to stop, not kill.

      • Difdi

        Simply drawing a dangerous weapon ends fights most of the time.

        But if you’ve been assaulted/battered and you draw a pistol, and the person(s) who attacked you go for guns when they see yours, they present a clear and present danger to your life.

        It’s worth noting that only a suicidal person lets the mugger complete his draw.

    • Rob

      I’ll never wait for the first punch, because you never know how hard someone else is going to hit, and you may not be able to soak it up. Self defense doesn’t mean you need to wait before you’re attacked first before you can take action. If someone is “in your face” or personal space, and you feel threatened, don’t hesitate; just knock them the fuck out. The law is on your side there, though it also helps to have someone who will bear witness on your behalf so some little chicken shit like J. Bieber couldn’t claim you attacked him and his bodyguard without provocation.

  • eddy

    Try that with me. I’ll introduce you to my friend Mr. 1911.

  • Difdi

    For some reason, the idea that a reporter must NEVER become part of the story has become so ingrained, that reporters won’t even defend themselves if attacked, believing their status as passive observers somehow shields them.

    Without that odd bit of hubris, more reporters would exercise the 2nd amendment alongside the 1st, and we’d hear a lot more stories about bodyguards being shot while mugging people on the streets, and less about police treating assault, battery and robbery as if they were civil matters, not criminal.

    • tiny

      i hear ya, when a few years back men were murdered by MBPD on memorial day, the reporter that was present defended the police that stole the camera from the “cameram man”, put into the trunk of the cop car, then gave it back hours after, GLENDA milberg even emailed me about it. what a jackass, repeating what others told her to say like a damn bird! bullshit all of it.

      • Barking Dog

        what the boss tells “em to say and they like the boss’s money…

        It was one of ,my main problems working crime scene/ fire rescue in NYC. The camera guys would get abused all the time and they wouldn’t bother to cover it or make it the story because they were told not to and are basically a bunch of sheep.

        They didn’t help me for 30 years and now having perfected theeeir brand of stupid on my and the lesser knows, they turn to the big names who are now finding it too late to do anything.

        That and Mickey O’s useless letter’s. Every time there was an incident, he’d be in the news firing off another letter, just like the 99 others when it happened 99 times before. I’m not ungrateful, it’s more than anybody else is doing, but he needs to step it up.

        Now you’re all in deep shit. Welcome to my world. 200,000 NYC pictures and a broken rib later with 8 arrests in 30 years where the cops never show in court.

        Stay tuned, you may see my case in the news, like last time. Hope not, but *sigh*, I know the drill.

  • Rail Car Fan

    The news report stated in part..

    “The allegations are that the Biebs’ bodyguards ‘CHOKED’ the pap and took the memory card out of his camera.”

    Note the defining word “CHOKED”. If what was stated actually happened, then I would have NO problem bringing my .40 caliber firearm into action…, and as such, I have no reason to believe that I would be sent to jail for my actions.

    Rail Car Fan

    • Barking Dog

      choked him hard enough to get the card….

  • bc_motoguy

    not looking good for our national treasure. http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_aesbsm9t/

    • Barking Dog

      he’s a Canadian