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LAPD probes Rihanna beating photo

The Los Angeles Police Department opened an internal investigation late Thursday into whether a picture posted on a celebrity gossip website purportedly showing the bloody and bruised face of R&B star Rihanna was part of police evidence in the case, department officials said in a statement.

The photo posted by TMZ.com at 8:39 p.m. Eastern Standard Time time under the headline "Rihanna -- The Face of a Battered Woman" showed a woman said to be Rihanna with her eyes closed, a fat lip and apparent bruising to her forehead. The site ran a short sentence above the photo stating "TMZ has obtained a photo of Rihanna taken after Chris Brown allegedly beat her."

The LAPD currently is investigating an alleged altercation between Rihanna and singer Chris Brown, who police said injured the female artist during a fight the couple had last week in a Hancock Park neighborhood the morning of the Grammy Awards.

The department issued a statement that said the photograph has the appearance of one taken during an official domestic violence investigation.

"The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence," it read. "The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint. A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination."

Brown was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of making criminal threats but was not immediately charged because the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said police needed to gather additional evidence in the case.

Police sources have said that Rihanna is cooperating with investigators in building a domestic violence case against Brown and indicated that she had suffered bruises and a scratch on her face resulting from the early morning altercation with Brown. She was treated at a "major medical facility," a police source said.

Brown, 19, who has a double-platinum record and dance moves often compared to Michael Jackson's, fled before officers arrived, police said.

He remains free on $50,000 bail and, through his public relations firm, issued an apology for the incident that rocked the Grammys. Brown and Rihanna were both nominated; neither attended the ceremony.

--Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

More: Will the LAPD get help from Mel Gibson?

Comments () | Archives (41)

I do hope that the picture being leaked won't lead to him getting away with this. I've been through a similar situation myself and so i know these kinds of people need to be punished for what they do.

That's what happens when you take gangsters out of the ghetto and try and make 'em respectable. They can't get out of their own way.

Just saw the picture. Awful and heart breaking stuff, really.
You remember that scene in the Godfather where Sonny beats up Carlo for hitting Connie? .

When I first saw the photo I thought it could be a scam made by a magazine to attract visitors. But reading this article it appears as the photo was for real. In which case it is really shocking as the woman appears in really bad shape. Scary.

to jail wit dat lil foo! trust me you will see this again in his lifetime, once a woman beater always a woman beater, he needs to be taught a hard lesson, if he is not put away today its due to his prowess, fame and money a la jacko, blake and OJ, sad society we live in, if it was your or I, we'd be in the slammer already with bubba backin us up!

There are more security holes in the LAPD than in a strainer. Just give those officers a break on free doughnuts just about anything free and they are like taking candy from a baby

its saddening to see the picture.
its even more saddening to see that cops can't be trusted.
they obviously new the price tag of a snapshot of Rihanna's face, and they broke the law and their own loyalty to the oath they take before becoming a cop, and greed took over.

I hope this person who obviously was from within LAPD gets terminated and gets jail time.

How would this person feel if theyre wife/daughter/mother was beaten and a billboard of them was put up at a major highway?

This is the same thing, because its a celebrity, this is even worse than a billboard at a major highway.

Oh noes! You published not only the victim's name but a link to the beat-down photo. You should be ashamed!

j/k, pretty amazing how porous the LAPD is. And, I think the TMZ was right all along, it does look like horns. Definitely a thug!

Rhianna should be pressured to keep the heat on this thug. We now have seen the real Chris Brown, beats innocent beautfiul helpless women. She should have coperated from moment 1, but should fully cooperate now. But she won't, they (beaten women) never do.

My first impression of the situation was that I didn't care. Because I try not to keep up with celebrities. When everybody started talking about, it hit my curious bone. I saw the picture last night on the news and I have one conclusion, Chris Brown is the biggest piece of garbage on this earth. It doesn't matter how bad a woman bothers you, you don't straight beat her down like she killed your mother. Poor Rihanna, I rarely pray, but I will pray for her tonight for a speedy recovery. Chris Brown, you don't earn any respect for beating her like that. I've seen faces like that and thats a result of pinning her down and straight blowing up her face with punches. Chris you are a disgrace to men, better yet, mankind. I hope you riot in hell and I hope that send your punk @ss to prison so they beat your @ss like you did to Rihanna. PS. Chris Brown career is DEAD!

Another gangster who got lucky to make some $$$. Now we all know he is just a loser woman beater that really should spend his life in a cross bar hotel. Send him to Iraq! When will the world see woman as equal to men? Are we really more intelligent than cavemen?
Nothing worse than seeing some spoiled loser in a lamborghini beating his girlfriend up. How Pathetic...

I would hardly call Chris Brown "gangsta" he is a punk a middle class kid with two parents in the house but they raised a punk. It also looks like the LAPD is taking this seriously so hopefully they get em.

Marianno Gomez writes

" I hope this person who obviously was from within LAPD gets terminated and gets jail time"

Good luck to the LA police in catching whoever leaked that photo, if whoever did it was anywheres near tech saavy. He or she could have easily opened a VPN tunnel and sent out the photo that way, and their activities would never be detected. A VPN tunnel cannot be analysed, monitored,cracked, or sniffed. Setting up a VPN tunnel to one's home computer can be done easily, if they have the right kind of broadband connection, and Windows XP Pro or Vista business.

And if they used a suscription VPN outside the USA (such sites exist in Canada, Britain, and Hong Kong), that would put it beyond the reach of U.S. authorities.

I dont agree with the comment from al bundy about taking someone out the ghetto and making them respectable. He entered the music scene when he was 16 as a respectable young man who dances to express himself. All the facts are not out yet and there is speculation that Rihanna initiated the whole thing. I dont agree with him hiting her but then again she shouldnt hit him either. People always feel sorry for the women but there are men who endure abuse from women, but because men are more of the dominant species we tend to gang up on them. Chris Brown was definitely wrong, but dont try to make it look like good people cant come from the ghetto. This is his first mistake up until now and hopefully he grows from it. And hopefully Rhianna will get some sense about her and grow up!

Oh Please. "Poor, rihanna." Are you serious? Everything she did in her past. Karma is a.... There is nothing "helpless" about that loose chick. Its not right she was beat on but gimme a break. And chris brown isnt a "thug". People are stereotyping now. Listen to his music. Before this happend nobody had anything bad to say now you wanna shoot him down? Rihanna is KNOWN to throw a couple of punches. Somebody just got tired of it and threw some back. She torn about going to the police? Please. Thats because she started it. Shes young and very very stupid. And so is Chris for hitting her back. But dang people. Look at both sides before you go dogging the boys character. And who knows that pic could be a scam. But only time will tell. Unitl then....

He another low life thug who made it big in the music business and thought the world was his and he could do what he wanted without paying the piper!!

The photo could have been accessed from an outside source ...who knows for sure..so to blame the LAPD is just a little to convenient at this point.

I understand that her privacy was compromised..BUT..this confirms that she was beat up as opposed to the rumor mill running rampant...was she or wasn't she.

Victims should press charges and follow through..if not for themselves..for future victims.

This is the main reason they can't find out who killed Biggie. They have too many clowns that work for the LADP. The evidence in this case is now tainted. You can't show chain of custody. Someone could take a photo out of evidence, doctor it and place it back to show bias against the Defendant.

See, this is how Ike and Tina Started. Then, Tina Left, and became even Bigger. Ike became a slobbering blubbering fool.

Chris needs at least/minimum 6months in Jail. Some privileges taken away(not all). He had too much time on his hands. So, he decided to use them for idle. A fool's hands is worthless to him, until they are taken away (figuratively) and used correctly. He needs some examples of how to treat another human being.

Beat downs are for the imagination, the imagination that can be controlled. If you cannot control your fantasy, abandon the air world, and drop in to present universe anytime soon


That fact that her very personal and private photo was leaked (for what was probably a lot of money) is another reason we need to reform the celebrity paparazzi/tabloid industry. We are a free country and we should protect its citizens from this kind of invasion of privacy.

I will lose all respect for Rhianna if she does not help prosecute Chris Brown for her beatdown.

So far, her silence reflects poorly on her.

She needs to speak out for victims of "domestic violence" everywhere.

its about time the l.a.pd does something about this cus alot of false pictures are going around the internet claiming that its rihanna god when are ppl gonna realize its been ordered for chris and rihanna not to talk public about the case til a complete investigation is done why are all you ppl beleiving tmz.com and other places like that before any of the national news companies when meanwhile the national news will be the first to hear about it from the police themselves . like they say if it dont make the news first then its nothing to worry about . and why do you think rihanna and chris havent really come out and said anything about it they were ordered not to . dam now looks like the idiots . tmz.com and the others do the picture is probably someone desperate for money wow .

Thank you "Rudy"! I was going to say the same thing about CB hardly being a 'gangsta' from the 'hood.' Some things in America (like racism) just never change...

Harvey Levin at TMZ is a dirt bag. If publishing this photo at all compromises the case, I hope he gets severely punished as well.

Pretty crazy... Who would've thought chris brown was like that. I guess he wasn't thinking and let his anger get the best of him. I just hope the police get to the bottom of this and poor lil rhianna get better. Chris brown better take a bow... Cause it's over now.

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