LA Police Arrest 4 in Paparazzi Crackdown

Brit, LiLo followers face jail time for blocking sidewalks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2008 11:04 AM CST
Paris Hilton's car is surrounded by media as she leaves a probation violation hearing in Los Angeles in this May 4, 2007, file photo. Los Angeles city councilman Dennis Zine introduced a motion Friday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Even Britney Spears’ paparazzi can’t stay out of trouble, the Los Angeles Times reports. Late Tuesday and early yesterday, Los Angeles police arrested four shutterbugs for blocking sidewalks in their hunt for tabloid-worthy shots—part of a crackdown, using existing loitering and traffic laws, on increasingly aggressive photographers. All four men face up to a year in prison and $1,000 in fines.

Police resolved to crack down when photographers blocked hospital entrances seeking shots of Spears during a January incident. “They don’t disperse. They don’t listen to warnings,” a sheriff’s spokesman complained. But an editor at celebrity-news site was perplexed. There’s lots of dangerous paparazzi activity, he admitted, so it’s bizarre that “the sheriff’s launching pad is photographers on a sidewalk.”