Who cares if cops get in on the Bieber or Rihanna celeb buzz? You should

Singer Rihanna, in Paris
Pop singer Rihanna, in Paris for the Chanel collection. A Los Angeles judge has affirmed that the LAPD could fire an officer who acknowledged taking a picture of a 2009 police evidence photo of the singer’s injured face after she was allegedly beaten.
(Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

Sure, from the paparazzi you’d expect this.

But from the cops?

A Los Angeles judge just agreed that the LAPD could fire a police officer who admitted that she had photographed an evidence photo of pop singer Rihanna’s messed-up face, right after she was beaten by singer Chris Brown five years ago.

An image of the evidence photo turned up within a week on the gossip site TMZ. However, prosecutors found no evidence to tie that LAPD officer or any other officers to leaking the photo.


In Florida, Miami Beach police are figuring out what to do about a police officer who allegedly tried to take her own photo of pop singer Justin Bieber as he was being booked on suspicion of drag racing.

And in London, in the latest takedown of British police for leaking confidential celebrity information, a Scotland Yard officer is serving two years in prison for peddling tidbits about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and other renowned Britons to Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid, for which that one officer collected about $12,500 over three years.

Who cares, you may think. In the passing parade of tomorrow’s has-beens, why get strenuous over cops getting caught up in the celebrity buzz?

(If anything, cops have been accused of being too protective of celebrities. In Florida, three cops are being investigated for supposedly providing an enthusiastic but unauthorized airport police escort of Bieber.)


You should care, because it’s not about the celebs, in the end. It’s about the law. It’s about you and me, because the law is exercised in our names.

If confidential material about the rich and famous isn’t protected, why should we expect that ours will be? If the law enforcers can’t be relied on to perform that basic part of their jobs, the rule of law disintegrates and with it, the compact to obey the law, in part because we think it’s being enforced fairly for everyone.

A while back, UCLA hospitals paid more than $850,000 in fines and fired employees who were caught sneaking unauthorized peeks at the medical files of people at their most vulnerable, celebs such as Michael Jackson and Britney Spears.

Before you click on that latest hot headline about some leak of info that should have been private and confidential, think about how you’d react if it were your information, and try to be peeved for just a moment — not for their sakes but for yours.


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Follow Patt Morrison on Twitter @pattmlatimes