Justin Bieber's manager, Scott "Scooter" Braun, pleaded not guilty Wednesday (March 24) to charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, stemming from a scheduled Bieber mall appearance last November that turned into a stampede and injured five fans.
Police allege that Braun failed to properly control the situation at Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, New York, when the crowd of 30,000 became unruly. At the time of the incident, police ordered Braun to send a message via Twitter to notify Bieber's followers that the event was canceled. Braun, however, refused to send the message, police said. Authorities contend Braun eschewed safety in favor of publicity. As things got out of hand, police said, Bieber's Twitter still read, "On my way to Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, NY to sign and meet fans! I'm pumped. See u there."
After news broke that Braun, 29, had turned himself in to authorities, Bieber defended his manager in a statement to PerezHilton.com.
"The lawyers are saying I can't say anything specific about what's going on with my manager Scooter Braun," Bieber said. "However, what I can say is that Scooter always acts in the best interests of the safety of my fans and myself. Also, I just wanted to let all my fans know that Scooter has the full support of my mother and me and we couldn't be more grateful for all he's done for us. Scooter — I miss you, man. Wish you were here."
TMZ posted footage of Bieber in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon sporting a "Free Scooter" T-shirt.
Earlier Wednesday, Bieber tweeted his support for Braun, writing, "You've got my total support @scooterbraun. Wish you were here in Chicago with us #FreeScooter."
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