Everyone has heard about the drama between Rihanna and Chris Brown, pictured above, a once happy couple. On February 8, 2009, after getting in an argument in Brown’s car, he assaulted her, and didn’t stop until she started calling for help, which was when he abandoned her and the car and walked away, and a neighbor called the police.
This is what Rihanna looked like when the police came to question and photograph her:
What you don’t really hear about as often is the police officers behind the case. Most people have seen the pictures of a battered Rihanna, which first appeared on the gossip website, TMZ, on February 19, 2009, not even two weeks after the event. When I saw the picture, I wondered how it had been leaked to the public and figured that Rihanna probably was not the one who released it, because who would want to share a picture like that? As a criminal justice major, I was more interested in that question than the assault itself. I knew that this picture definitely was not supposed to be shown to the public, especially based on the grainy consistency of the image, it was clear that this photo was released illegally.
On The Smoking Gun, I came across an article about the investigation of the leak. As it turns out, only a small number of officers had access to the photo, so the Internal Affairs Group was able to narrow down the leak to two officers, Rebecca Reyes and Blanca Lopez. Now, while they are still deciding what punishments should entail, IF any, Reyes and Lopez have been on PAID administrative leave for over 30 MONTHS! Reyes’ lawyer said that the Internal Affairs Group’s finding contained “no criminal allegations.”
Here, you can view The Smoking Gun article, and documents from the case:
I am confused as to why the officers are not being charged, and why they have been on paid vacations for over two years. They took a private police evidence photo and most likely sold it to this gossip website, yet they are not facing charges and have not been fired, all the while they are being paid to not come into work.
I know stuff like this gets leaked all the time, and most of the time no one has access to it besides the police officers themselves, so it must be coming from within. It is not often that you hear about police officers being fired, or even reprimanded for this kind of behavior. I work at Subway, and I feel like this kind of behavior is on the same level, if not worse, than it would be for me to give out free subs at work. How is it acceptable to give away things that should not be out in the public?
As far as I can tell, the moral of the story here is: police officers can do illegal things—like selling confidential evidence—and be rewarded for it with, let’s say, a two year paid vacation.