Earlier this week, multiple news outlets reported that singer Chris Brown had been arrested on allegations of sexual assault and drug possession. Although Brown was released the next day, the singer seems to be taking a proactive stance against what he calls “false” charges on his Instagram page. And, according to UPI.com, no formal charges have been filed, but an investigation is ongoing. Still, Brown has decided to challenge the charges against him.
Brown’s response is newsworthy, but it raises questions about presumptive guilt in the public eye. Because Brown’s record of assault and drug possession has been splashed across headlines since 2009.
But critics of Brown will no doubt cast disbelief on his claims, given the singer’s past, but is that fair?
So far, few facts have emerged aside from the allegations, who made them and that Brown was arrested with two other men. It is unclear if all the men were charged with the same offenses. To those on the outside of the case, Brown’s actions might seem an exaggerated protest. Brown’s latest run-in with the law in regard to abusive behavior against women comes as R. Kelly, another singer accused of sexual assault has been dropped from his record label. A mini-docu series about Kelly’s alleged victims has put the issue of sexual assault and popular performers in the forefront of the public’s mind.
The question for some people will be just because Brown has been guilty of certain crimes in the past doesn’t mean he is guilty now. That idea though, is the most difficult part of the most recent case involving Brown. Fans of the singer can only hope that the reportedly ongoing investigation is fair and thorough. And, that should a trial be necessary, it will hopefully properly exonerate or incriminate the appropriate parties.
Given Brown’s past, it is difficult to believe that the 29-year-old singer will be judged fairly.
While it is important that those who commit crimes (sexual in nature or not) are brought to justice, it is also important that people with criminal histories are not accused of crimes because accusers find them easy targets.
At this point, fans and critics have to wait for the investigation to conclude before determining what affect this will have on Brown’s career and public reputation. However, a New Zealand radio station, The Edge, has already decided not to play Brown’s music as a result of the most recent legal trouble the singer has found himself in. For some the move seems a bit late, as Brown had already been charged in at least three other incidents. However, this probably won’t be the first radio station to ban the singer’s music because of this latest incident.