Judge Upholds Firing of LAPD Officer Who Shared Photo of Rihanna’s Injuries from Chris Brown Beating
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 03.20.2014
The firing was justified…
Billboard reports that a judge on Thursday (March 20) upheld the firing of a police officer who distributed an evidence photo that depicted Rihanna's injuries after she was attacked by Chris Brown.
Former Los Angeles police officer Rebecca Reyes took a picture of an evidence photo and the image later surfaced on TMZ. Reyes denied she sent it to the site. Reyes took the photo to show to other officers and acquaintances according to court filings. The image was one of several taken by police officers investigating Brown's February 2009 attack on Rihanna (nee Robyn Fenty).
Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin issued a ruling that agreed with the decisions of a disciplinary panel and Police Chief Charlie Beck to fire Reyes in 2012. After the record was reviewed, Lavin concluded that the evidence supports that Reyes, "participated in the release of the photography showing Ms. Fenty's injuries to TMZ." Judge Lavin added, "At a minimum, the public is entitled to protection from unprofessional employees whose conduct places people at risk of injury and the government at risk of incurring liability."
Reyes' attorney, Ira Salzman, accepted the ruling without argument during the hearing. He said he was disappointed the ruling after the hearing, but reiterated that his client didn't leak the image to TMZ. He stated, "Rebecca Reyes is an outstanding person and was an outstanding officer."
After Rihanna's attack, Reyes was assigned to a team planning to arrest Brown, but was later pulled off the assignment. Reyes saw an evidence photo of Rihanna's injuries at her precint and snapped a photo to share with others, including a former girlfriend who called TMZ according to records. The ex-girlfriend, also a Los Angeles police officer, told investigators that she called the celebrity news site only to verify the details of the attack that Reyes shared with her.
Salzman pointed out that Reyes' ex-girlfriend, Blanca Lopez, remains on the force and that the person who leaked the photo "has never been found and never will be." Reyes and Lopez were said to be breaking up when the photo was leaked and both were investigated for their actions. Search warrants found no evidence of payments to either woman by TMZ or proof of who gave the site the image.