Miami Beach police chief responds to criticism over Bieber arres - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Miami Beach police chief responds to criticism over Bieber arrest

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Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez defended his officers' actions following extensive criticism his department has endured in the wake of pop star Justin Bieber's DUI arrest.

In a candid interview with 7News, the law enforcement official addressed the high-profile events for the first time since the Jan. 23 incident. "I know the facts are what the facts are," said Martinez. "It does get a little frustrating."

The police department has received some criticism over the arrest, starting with the allegation that Bieber's entourage blocked off Pine Tree Drive so the singer could drag race, which is detailed in the arrest report. After Bieber was taken into custody, it was reported that a GPS on his rented yellow Lamborghini indicated that he was not driving at a high rate of speed.

"What the public has to understand is that the officer described his actions as drag racing, but he was not charged with drag racing," said Martinez. "This is a residential street, Pine Tree Drive, where the speed limit is 30 miles an hour, and if you can imagine, at 4 a.m. in the morning, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari going from zero to 40, opening up those engines. That's what drew the officers' attention to their actions."

When asked about a statement in the arrest report that officers smelled alcohol when they pulled Bieber over, Martinez said the odor could have come from his clothing. "If you just consume a beer, or if you happen to spill some of that beer on your clothing or in the car, you could smell that as you approach," he said.

Bieber's Breathalyzer showed he blew a .014 percent, a small amount of blood alcohol in his system. His toxicology report, however, showed he tested positive for marijuana and Xanax.

Regarding Bieber's alleged expletive-filled remarks directed at the officers, Martinez called it inappropriate conduct. "I know with my own kids, I have three kids right in that age range, I kind of gave them the lesson of what to do if they get pulled over by a police officer," he said. "Certainly, using the F-bomb would not be an appropriate way to start off a conversation."

When Bieber was brought to the Miami Beach Police Department, a patrol sergeant had to prevent a female officer from taking a photograph of the Canadian performer in the processing area. That officer is currently under investigation by Internal Affairs. "That's not our role; that's not what we should be doing, it's not what an officer should be doing," said Martinez, who commended the patrol sergeant's swift response. "That's what we want our supervisors to do."

As for Bieber's DUI processing, Martinez said the department performed their duties flawlessly. "I was very confident, extremely confident they followed it by the book," he said.

Bieber has a court hearing set for Feb. 14, which he will not attend. His attorneys have entered a written plea of not guilty.

Martinez said he stands by the arrest. "I think the officers did an outstanding job. There's no question about it," he said.

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