LA Lawmaker Targets Paparazzi

Spears mayhem prompts call for 'personal safety zone' for celebs
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2008 6:09 AM CST
Photographers try to get a shot through the back window of a Los Angeles City Fire Department ambulance carrying entertainer Britney Spears, as it leaves her residence, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, in Los...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A Los Angeles councilman is pushing for a "personal safety zone" for celebs after a 12-cop police escort—cost to the city, $25,000—was needed to get Britney Spears past paparazzi to a hospital this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. Councilman Dennis Zine said camera-toting hoards present a real danger. "We are in a celebrity town," he said. "Celebrities have a right to live in peace and freedom."

"I don't want a repeat of what happened to Princess Diana with a celebrity in Los Angeles," Zine said, lamenting that "if not for paparazzi" the 12 officers could have been working on preventing crime. Zine's plan, which includes a measure to clear spaces on streets, sidewalks, and elsewhere, got a thumbs-down from LA's police chief, who said "appropriate laws" already exist.