Photo of Battered Rihanna Published Online, So Where is Chris Brown’s Mug Shot?
Police photographs of singer Rihanna’s battered face were leaked to the celebrity gossip site TMZ.com on Thursday. It should be noted that these were not an official release by the Los Angeles police, but rather, were illegally obtained and distributed. A statement released by the LAPD Friday morning said that the “unauthorized release of a domestic violence photograph immediately generated an internal investigation.” Until this point, the extent of Rihanna’s injuries sustained in an alleged attack by then-boyfriend Chris Brown were pure speculation and hearsay.
The disturbing image of Rihanna’s face as photographed by police on February 8, 2009 shows the two large contusions on her forehead, bruised and swollen eyes, various abrasions, swollen bloody lips, and a swollen nose.
Rihanna herself has not yet commented on the situation, and has not been seen in public since the incident took place. Instead, she fled to her home country of Barbados where she has been keeping company with close friends while she heals. Given the measures that she has taken to protect her privacy, we can only assume the embarrassment that this photo brings. Now instead of Chris Brown being embarrassed by a mug shot being released, it’s the victim who has become the focal point of this case.
And speaking of Chris Brown, the alleged perpetrator of the attack on Rihanna, no official mug shot has yet been released. Countless other celebrities in California have been arrested and have had to endure facing their mug shots published in the media, so why not Brown?
The reason that no mug shot of Brown has been released is because he was arrested within the city limits of Los Angeles, which has a policy of not releasing mug shots unless the individual poses a threat to the public or if its distribution will assist in the criminal investigation. Others arrested within Los Angeles County, not the city of Los Angeles, do often have their mug shots release as there are not the same restrictions in place that the city has enacted.
The LAPD should make an exception in this case, and release Chris Brown’s mug shot so he can bear the shame of his alleged actions. The photo of Rihanna’s injuries should have never made it out past the walls of the police department, and the individual involved in its release should be fired. It’s not fair that photos of the victim in this case have been plastered everywhere, while the accused gets off with nary a photo published.