Hip-hop and R&B artist Chris Brown is never too far removed from the entertainment news media spotlight, but his various brushes with law enforcement and the judicial system are creating quite a stir. In one of the latest developments in the singer’s multi-jurisdictional probation saga, the Chief of the Richmond Police Department in Virginia abruptly resigned amidst allegations that he mishandled Brown’s probation and court-ordered community service.
According to a social media posting by the Richmond Police Department, former Chief Bryan Norwood tendered his resignation on Feb. 12, 2013. Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones stated that he reached a mutual agreement with Norwood and welcomed new Chief Ray J. Tarasovic. Prosecutors in Los Angeles claim that Norwood, who is alleged to have personally supervised Brown’s probation, was less than methodical in his oversight of the singer’s five-year term of probation and 180 days of community service.
A high-profile probation case
When it comes to high-profile defendants like Brown, criminal defense attorneys tend to be actively involved with their clients insofar as making sure that they are complying with the terms of their sentences. In Brown’s case, the risk of intrusive paparazzi and tabloid reporters call for more hands-on supervision due to his visibility in the entertainment world.
Norwood assured Los Angeles Superior Court in 2009 that the Richmond Police Department would make sure that Brown served his term of probation and community service as required by his sentence. To this end, Norwood addressed letters to the court that assured his diligence in supervision. In September of 2012, he wrote the court to certify that Brown had completed 202 days of his required community service.
What happens next
Currently, prosecutors in California are questioning the singer’s travels and state that he may not have completed any of his community service hours as part of his sentence for assaulting pop star and on-and-off again lover Rihanna. Brown appeared in court last week, with Rihanna by his side, for a probation hearing to discuss the allegations currently levied against him. The judge said that he must review all of the evidence and set another court date for April 5th to discuss the matter further.
Even if Brown is not found guilty of violating his probation terms by falsifying community service records, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has also stated that Brown may be charged with probation violations because of his recent fight with Frank Ocean outside a recording studio, testing positive for pot and numerous other offenses.