Home / Music & Arts / San Francisco slams Justin Bieber for ‘illegal’ graffiti

San Francisco slams Justin Bieber for ‘illegal’ graffiti

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 9:29 AM

ALTERNATE CROP OF NSD105Nathan Denette/AP

Justin Bieber might have to say “Sorry” to San Francisco.

The City by the Bay wants Justin Bieber’s team to pay for its “illegal” and “infuriating” sidewalk graffiti.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera slammed the “Sorry” singer and his record label for their “commercially sponsored graffiti vandalism” that spray-painted the city’s thoroughfares with promos heralding the release date of Bieber’s new album, “Purpose.”

The indelible products of the guerrilla marketing stunt — etched in seemingly permanent spray paint rather than washable chalk — have weathered through several rainstorms, Herrera wrote in a scathing open letter published Monday to Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels and Universal Music General Counsel and EVP Jeffrey Harleston.

HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALESSAN FRANCISCO CITY ATTORNEY/HANDOUT/EPA

“The definition of graffiti is tagging someone else’s property without permission, and they certainly did not have our permission to do this to our sidewalks,” Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said.

“This prohibited marketing practice illegally exploits our City’s walkable neighborhoods and robust tourism; intentionally creates visual distractions that pose risks to pedestrians on busy rights of way; and irresponsibly tells our youth that likeminded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries — including Mr. Bieber and the record labels that produce and promote him,” he added.

Herrera demanded that Bieber, Def Jam and Universal cooperate with his team’s efforts to find and punish perpetrators of the “visual blight,” claiming he could pursue fines of up to $ 2,500 for each violation.

“The definition of graffiti is tagging someone else’s property without permission, and they certainly did not have our permission to do this to our sidewalks,” Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru added in a press release.

The city spends more than $ 20 million a year in taxpayer money on graffiti removal, according to its Public Works department.

Roundly mocked by San Franciscans for weeks on social media, the unsightly scrawls have prompted complaints from residents in the Haight, Divisadero, SoMa and Mission Districts, reports SFGate.

“Pls fine Justin Bieber for this graffiti,” a prescient Twitter user wrote in November.

Reps for Bieber, Def Jam and Universal Music Group have not yet replied to the Daily News’ request for comment.

mjagannathan@nydailynews.com

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justin bieber ,
san francisco
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