Justin Bieber's custody footage released

The Believe singer is shown walking a wobbly sobriety test at a Florida police station after his arrest on 23 January. Video of him urinating into a cup has not been made public, however

Prosecutors have disclosed hours of video footage from Justin Bieber’s visit to a Florida police station, where he was tested for drink driving. The footage shows the singer being frisked and walking a straight-line sobriety test.

Officials permitted the release of the videos after weeks of discussion and review. All were shot at Miami Beach police department following Bieber’s arrest in the morning of 23 January. The 19-year-old was described at the time as having been engaged in an illegal drag race; although he was not charged with drag racing, he has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid licence.

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Bieber’s representatives had been worried that police would release compromising images of the singer, including four clips that showed him urinating in a cup for a drug test. But yesterday’s release was mostly innocuous: the Believe star is seen ambling through the police station in a black hoodie and bright red shoes, talking with a police officer, doing push-ups, and walking heel-to-toe in a sobriety test. He does wobble as he tries to keep a straight line, using his arms for balance, and at one point reaches out for a wall, but his faculties seem relatively intact. Breath tests at the time showed Bieber to be within the legal blood-alcohol limit, however the urine test found traces of marijuana and Xanax.

Describing Bieber’s behaviour that evening, officers called him “excited, talkative, profan[e], co-operative, insulting, and cocky”. He allegedly had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. “We were smoking [marijuana] all night at the studio,” Bieber was quoted as saying.

All of the footage was released under Florida’s public records law, which permits the media to request any evidence that forms part of a criminal case. Five “sensitive” clips were reportedly held back, including the urine test footage, and will be reviewed by Miami-Dade county judge William Altfield on 4 March. Bieber’s lawyer, Roy Black, said the release of these clips would cause “irreparable harm” to his client.

Officials have yet to schedule a trial date.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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