February 2, 2013
No charges against Brown: Frank Ocean
By Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters
Rising R&B star Frank Ocean said on Saturday he will not press charges against singer Chris Brown, who he said had “jumped” him last week in a parking lot fracas.
The encounter between Ocean and Brown still could derail Brown’s efforts to remain in compliance with his probation stemming from his 2009 assault against singer Rihanna, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, a legal expert said.
Earlier in the week, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Ocean was “desirous of prosecution in this incident,” which occurred on Jan. 27 outside a recording studio in West Hollywood.
Representatives for Brown could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Sheriff’s deputies had cited witnesses as saying Grammy-winner Brown, 23, punched Ocean, 25, in the brief altercation.
But Ocean on Saturday posted a message on Frankocean.com saying he wanted to move past the incident.
“I’ll choose sanity,” he wrote. “No criminal charges. No civil lawsuit. Forgiveness, albeit difficult, is wisdom. Peace, albeit trite, is what I want in my short life. Peace.”
Brown and Ocean both are nominated in the best urban contemporary album category at the Grammys Awards, which will be announced Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
On the day of the parking lot incident Ocean had said on Twitter that he “got jumped by chris and a couple guys.” He also said he cut his finger and Brown was later photographed with a cast on his right hand.
Brown, whose hit songs include “Look at Me Now” and “Run It!,” was placed on probation for five years for the assault on Rihanna. He risks having his probation revoked if charges are filed against him.
But if the judge overseeing his case suspects Brown broke the law, the judge could move to find him in violation of probation even without a criminal charge, said Steve Cron, a defense attorney not connected to the case and an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.
“Then, Brown would be entitled to have a hearing with witnesses and his lawyers questioning witnesses and so forth,” Cron said.
Cron said prosecutors still can file charges even if a suspected victim does not cooperate.
If Brown is found to have violated his probation, a judge could send him to jail or order counseling, he said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said that if Ocean does not want to press charges, it would be difficult to proceed with the case.
Brown’s entourage and that of Canadian rapper Drake were involved in a June 2012 brawl in a New York nightclub. No arrests or charges were brought in that case.