Fla. judge to review Bieber video before release

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm •  Published: February 20, 2014
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MIAMI (AP) — A judge said Thursday he will review police video made shortly after Justin Bieber's recent Miami Beach arrest to determine if some portions should be withheld from the public, particularly clips depicting the singer urinating into a cup as part of a drug test.

Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield said after a hearing he will privately review some of the roughly 10 hours of Miami Beach police video taken after Bieber's Jan. 23 arrest. The Associated Press, The Miami Herald and other media organizations are seeking release of the video, arguing there is no exemption in Florida's generous open records law allowing it to be kept under wraps.

"The right of privacy cannot trump the right of access to public records," said Deanna Shullman, the attorney for the AP and several other media outlets. "My clients have no interest in showing Mr. Bieber's private parts. You have to redact that and release the rest."

Still, Shullman and Scott Ponce, who represents the Herald and Miami's CBS affiliate, agreed with Altfield's plan to review the four clips that show Bieber urinating into the cup, as did state prosecutors. Bieber attorney Howard Srebnick said he found it "insulting" that the videos could be released perhaps with only Bieber's nether regions censored, contending even that was a violation of privacy.

"There's no reason why the media should make a spectacle of that event," Srebnick said.

Altfield said he would hold another hearing on the matter March 4, meaning the current March 3 trial date for Bieber will be delayed. But he said if the various sides could agree on release of non-objectionable video material, that should be done by Wednesday.

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