Chris Brown: DC Isn’t LA. Hope You Enjoyed Your Cell.

Posted on October 28, 2013


Chris Brown in yet another brawl.  More proof that money doesn’t buy class.

I had no idea Chris Brown was in my area until I opened up the news yesterday morning to learn that he was arrested for felony assault outside the W Hotel sometime around 4:30 AM Sunday.

Now, first point:  the W Hotel is a ritzy sort of affair just a block from the White House and across from the Treasury.   Rooms can run as much as $769 per night, and then there are suites that don’t even advertise a price.  This place, like other rarified hotels around this part of town,  plays host to diplomats, CEOs, and other high-powered players; but it is no stranger to the occasional celebrity as well  (Lady Gaga has stayed there too, but I don’t remember her getting charged with beating the crap out of anyone in front of the hotel).

Second point:  DC is a political hub, a center of the Federal Government, a concentration of foreign embassies, lobbyists, and think tanks.  DC is not exactly known for being a “party town,” certainly not the way LA or NYC might be.  Oh, sure, we have our own little embarrassments, but they generally revolve around sleazy politics, shady fundraising, or extramarital affairs poised to wreck reputations.  And sure, like any big city, we have our own seamy underbelly of drug-dealing, assaults and murders in certain areas of town.  Those two worlds – high-octane sleaze and gutter crime – may come within blocks of each other, but they generally don’t mix.

At least, not until Chris Brown comes to town, and gets into a gutter-worthy “physical altercation” at zero dark thirty in front of this glitzy hotel just a block from the White House.  He and his trusty bodyguard apparently sent someone to the hospital, and the charges are based in part on “the extent of the victim’s injuries,” as the Washington Post reports.

Brown’s supporters might argue “innocent until proven guilty,” and remind us that the circumstances of the incident are not yet publicly known.  Okay, fair enough… but saayyyy, haven’t we been here before?  Anyone remember that Rihanna thing in 2009?  Brown beat her bloody over a damn text message and pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to receive five years probation.

“Probation,” for thugs who might not know, does not mean “We totally think this whole thing against you is bogus and aren’t going to give you any jail time, so you’re off the hook.”  No no no.  It means:

A sentence whereby a convict is released from confinement but is still under court supervision; a testing or a trial period. Probation can be given in lieu of a prison term or can suspend a prison sentence if the convict has consistently demonstrated good behavior.


The status of a convicted person who is given some freedom on the condition that for a specified period he or she act in a manner approved by a special officer to whom the person must report.

See there?  “Good behavior.”  “Act in a manner approved.”  But since our buddy Chris has been on probation, he flew into a rage and threw a chair against a window at the Good Morning America studio in March 2011; he has been involved in a hit-and-run in LA in May of 2012 (charges were dismissed),  a nightclub brawl in NYC in 2012, and then in a fight with another performer over a parking space in Los Angeles early this year.  Hardly good behavior, but somehow Brown has managed to squeak by the Los Angeles Court without getting his probation permanently revoked.

That Los Angeles Court is watching how this new assault case develops before deciding what action to take concerning Brown’s probation.  Who knows, maybe he’ll get lucky again, as so many messed-up celebrities do in the LA court system.

But DC isn’t LA.  After spending more than 24 hours in lockup waiting for the DC courts to open and hear his case on Monday, hopefully at least that much has sunk in.