Rapper Kanye West won’t face any felony charges over his altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office on Friday declined to file felony assault and attempted robbery charges against the singer and referred the issue to the L.A. city attorney to see if the incident warranted a misdemeanor charge.
West, who has long maintained a hostile stance toward paparazzi and even rapped about his contempt for the media, was captured on video July 19 wrestling the photographer to the ground.
Deputy Dist. Atty Amy-Hannah Broersma wrote that West and “attacked a freelance photographer” who was subsequently treated for contusion and muscle strain at Marina del Rey Hospital.
She wrote that the case was declined after investigators from the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division presented the case and a video of the incident was reviewed. The prosecutor said an attempted robbery charged was declined because there was insufficient evidence of any “specific intent." She added that felony assault charges were rejected because the victim did not sustain significant injuries. The prosecutor noted the victim’s camera was not booked into evidence and “it is unknown whether it was damaged, therefore vandalism charges were not considered.”
The singer’s lawyer has insisted that West was simply trying to stop the photographer from taking a picture.
A video shows West emerging from the airport and heading toward a waiting car. He then stops and appears to get into an argument with one of numerous photographers on scene.
The video, obtained by TMZ, shows West grabbing the photographer. He appears to have the photographer in a headlock as he forces him to the ground. While a camera is between the pair, his lawyer told authorities the video shows he never grabbed it.