Los Angeles Prosecutors want more evidence from police before determining whether to press charges against singer Chris Brown.
He’s accused in a domestic dispute that reportedly involves pop superstar Rihanna. Police have presented a case regarding Brown, but didn’t release any of its details. Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison says the office won’t have any further comment on the case.
Brown was arrested Sunday night after surrendering to police, who sought the 19-year-old singer when a woman identified him as her attacker during a fight the night before.
Numerous media outlets, citing sources and police officials who were not named, have identified the woman as 20-year-old Rihanna, Brown’s longtime girlfriend.
Though an initial police news release Tuesday indicated that they were investigating a battery on a woman who was injured, Brown was booked only on suspicion of making a criminal threat, a felony.
Police have said that prosecutors would determine what charges, if any, were warranted.
The district attorney’s kicking the case back to police could signal that prosecutors are seeking to build stronger charges against Brown.
It could also mean the current evidence is too flimsy or has holes that would drop it to a misdemeanour or make it go away altogether, Loyola University law professor Stan Goldman said.
“Sending it back certainly isn’t the death penalty,” Goldman said.
“If you’re Chris Brown,” he added, “it’s both bad and good.”
A police spokeswoman said the department had no comment about the district attorney’s decision.
The department has said it was alerted to the incident in the upscale Hancock Park neighbourhood by a 911 call.
It has provided few official details beyond the initial report. Brown’s attorney and spokesman have not returned multiple calls and e-mails seeking comment since Sunday.
Brown remains free on $50,000 bail.
The allegations have at least momentarily tarnished Brown’s squeaky-clean image.
At least one major sponsor, Wrigley, has suspended ad campaigns featuring the singer, who has scored with hits such as 2005’s “Run It!” and a Grammy-nominated duet with Jordin Sparks, “No Air.”
Brown has withdrawn from public appearances in Phoenix scheduled for this weekend before the NBA All-Star game.
On Tuesday, Rihanna postponed a planned concert in Malaysia.
Brown and Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, skipped planned performances at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, leaving fellow recording artists to try to make sense of the allegations.
Kanye West, who toured with Rihanna, said on Ryan Seacrest’s morning radio show Tuesday morning that the reports of abuse were “devastating.”
“I feel like, just as a person, I don’t care how famous she is or even if she just worked at McDonald’s, that should never happen,” West said on the show, which is broadcast on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.
“It should never come to that place.”