Justin Bieber’s lawyers’ urgent motion to block the release of video footage of the singer in custody at a Miami police station has been published. The footage includes images of the 19-year-old in various states of undress and reportedly shows him urinating in a holding cell urinal.
The motion documents can be viewed here.
For voyeuristic and commercial reasons news media outlets are chomping at the bit to see the jail video footage and have filed a public records discIosure request for its release.
Bieber was filmed on CCTV cameras at Miami Beach Police Station following his arrest for suspected DUI shortly after 4 am on January 23, while driving a rented yellow Lamborghini during what police described as an illegal street drag race.
He and fellow arrestee, singer Khalil Sharieff, were taken to the station for tests, booking and processing.
The “Heartbreaker” singer’s legal team filed a next day motion after a video of Bieber getting a pat down at the station was released by Miami police last Thursday.
In the video the Canadian appears to cooperate with the searching officer’s instructions, and removes his outer clothing, jewelry, shoes and socks before a thorough frisk.
Bieber’s attorneys’ motion states he was “captured on videotape in various states of undress which show intimate personal parts of the defendant’s body.”
Crucially, it asks a Florida County Court judge to order a stay on all disclosure requests for video footage of the singer while he was in custody to prevent “irreparable harm.”
Additionally, Bieber’s lawyers intend to file a supplement to their “instant preliminary motion” after viewing the jail footage.
Earlier this week a law enforcement source who has reportedly seen the video told TMZ,
“Justin is seen several times stumbling around while he was taking his tests. As if he had a problem with his balance…[it] also shows Justin taking his various tests and eventually taking a piss.”
The source went on, “The stumbling and going to the bathroom is obviously reason enough for his attorneys to request it be sealed… If I was trying to paint a picture that my client was innocent… I wouldn’t want a video of him stumbling around and looking out of it to go public either.”
(Photo: Bieber And Sharieff With Yellow Lamborghini And Red Ferrari Before Alleged Drag Race And DUI Arrest.)
Bieber was previously seen urinating into a mop bucket in a New York restaurant followed by likely tipsy-induced profanity directed to a wall photograph of ex-president Bill Clinton. The smartphone footage was filmed without his consent or knowledge and reportedly sold to TMZ by an ex-pal.
The singer has been charged with DUI, resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired license.
Released on a $2,500 bond, Bieber pleaded not guilty ahead of tomorrow’s arraignment and a March 3 trial date.
A subsequent toxicology report revealed marijuana and the anxiety-drug Xanax were present in Bieber’s system at the time of arrest, which corroborated a police report statement that he admitted taking prescription medication, smoking pot and drinking beer earlier.
However, his blood alcohol level in two completed breath tests was 0.011 and 0.014 — well below intoxication limits. But, at 19, Justin is still underage by two years under US drinking laws.
Miami Herald reports a hearing date for the public-records issue has not yet been set.
Scott Ponce, a Miami Herald attorney, contests the claim that the Florida constitution and state law allows for exemptions to disclosure of public records, telling the paper:
“There is no basis in the public-records law for this video tape to be withheld from the public, and it will be Mr. Bieber’s burden to somehow establish that this otherwise public record should be withheld.”
The question of whether there is a legitimate public interest in displaying Bieber’s penis and in a semi-naked state on looping worldwide news reports and the Internet – which is what will happen if video of him reportedly urinating is released – should answer itself.
Such a release doesn’t further the DUI case, but would result in the lasting humiliation of a teenager who needs an indefinite break from public life, relentless media scrutiny — and possibly rehab.