The video clips included Bieber providing a urine sample for
a drug test following his arrest by police in Miami Beach in
January on a charge of driving under the influence.
Lawyers for Bieber, who turned 20 on March 1, had argued that
the police surveillance video showing him urinating was
inappropriate and should be withheld to protect the Canadian
"The Court finds that there exists a right to privacy as it
relates to the exposure and dissemination of the Defendant's
genitalia," Miami-Dade County Court Judge William Altfield said
in a written ruling.
In a court hearing on the order, Altfield said that despite the
public's right to full disclosure, "Bieber has not lost his
expectation of dignity."
He said that while people in police custody have less
expectation of privacy, they "are not like animals in a zoo to
be filmed and photographed at will by the public or media."
The judge noted that what was at stake was the public access to
evidence in court cases, not the media's First Amendment right
to free speech under the U.S. Constitution.
"We want to issue our thanks to the court for spending so much
time analyzing this issue ... and finding that even Mr Bieber
has a right to privacy," said the singer's Miami attorney, Roy
Bieber was charged with driving under the influence, resisting
arrest and using an expired license after Miami Beach police say
they caught him drag racing on January 23. Bieber pleaded not
guilty to the charges.
Besides a small amount of alcohol, he had marijuana and
prescription medication for anxiety in his system at the time of
his arrest, according to prosecutors.
After Bieber's arrest, lawyers for the Miami Herald, CBS, the
Associated Press and other media filed motions demanding all the
video be released under Florida's broad public records law.
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Reuters is not a party to the case.
Under Florida law, all evidence including photos and videos became
public record once they are handed to the defense.
Three of the clips were to be released immediately without being
altered while two others would be withheld until technicians can
obscure Bieber's genitals, the judge ruled.
"Some type of technological technique will be used to shade or
blacken out that area which would depict the objectionable images,"
Even though none of the clips clearly show Bieber urinating, in one
clip the partition fails to fully block the camera view after he
completed giving the sample, "thereby revealing an image of the
Defendant's genitalia" according to the ruling. A second clip was
also deemed "possibly revealing" of Bieber's private parts, the
Last week, prosecutors released to the media several hours of video
surveillance footage of Bieber while he was in police custody,
showing him being frisked, chatting with police, and doing push-ups
in a holding cell. But clips of him giving the urine sample were
withheld for review by the judge.
The pop star's private life has taken a seemingly tumultuous turn in
the past year. Last month he was charged with assaulting a limousine
driver in Toronto.
The case is State of Florida v Justin Drew Bieber, B14-2900.
(Editing by Grant McCool)
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