Chris Brown, Rihanna & Domestic Violence in Los Angeles

February 11, 2009

A new incident allegedly has Chris Brown beating superstar girlfriend Rihanna while they were on the way to the Grammys last weekend. Interestingly, the case touches on some of the aspects I discussed last month. There is the celebrity factor–allegedly severe injuries–and although it is reported that Rihanna is cooperating with police, it remains to be seen whether she and Brown reconcile, likely leading her to recant altogether.

The case can progress in a few ways. Either a quick plea bargain is reached as a result of many factors, including overwhelming evidence. Or, there can be a circus like atmosphere and/or a lack of evidence that leads to a vigorous defense and the prosecution overplaying its hand.

It was reported that there was a witness to the incident. Moreover, Rihanna allegedly suffered severe injuries for which a felony charge may be warranted. On the other hand, the DA’s office is requesting further investigation by the police before filing charges against Brown (something that is not uncommon in high profile cases, but may mean the evidence against him is weak).

As it stands now, Mr. Brown may have an uphill battle ahead of him. There is not much sympathy for domestic violence in Los Angeles, regardless of the troubled childhood Brown allegedly had. Coupled with his celebrity status, rightly or not, he will likely be made an example of. But high profile cases such as these often do not yield typical results. One would hope the legal system is not judged by these type of cases alone–often it seems that it is.