After aggressive paparazzi prompted Los Angeles police to escort Britney Spears to the hospital last week, City Councilman Dennis Zine will push for an ordinance that would create a minimum “personal safety zone” around individuals targeted by the media, reports the Los Angeles Times. Zine said the estimated $25,000 it cost for police to escort Spears to the hospital was necessary to protect the public from dangers posed by the horde of photographers pursuing the pop star. He said paparazzi were increasingly endangering celebrities and bystanders with their aggressive behavior and car pursuits.
“I don’t want a repeat of what happened to Princess Diana with a celebrity in Los Angeles,” he said. “We had to have 12 officers escort [Spears] to the hospital that if not for paparazzi would have been used to prevent crime somewhere else.” Zine will calls for new restrictions on paparazzi, including an ordinance that would create a zone of clear space in order to protect public safety on streets, sidewalks and at access points to emergency care facilities and private businesses and homes. Police Chief William Bratton said existing laws can deal with the paparazzi. Bratton defended the decision to deploy a dozen officers to escort Spears, saying she is a resident of the city and is “certainly in great need of assistance.” He said the public should blame the paparazzi for this week’s events.