06-28-2017  3:42 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

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Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

 A judge dropped a hit-and-run charge against Chris Brown after the singer reached a "civil compromise" with his accuser Thursday.

It was not immediately clear if the dismissal would stop the revocation of Brown's probation he has faced since the traffic charges were filed last month.

"It's unfortunate that Chris had to go through this in the first place," Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos told CNN after a hearing Thursday. "Sometimes I get the impression that he's prosecuted for who he is as opposed to what he's done, and that's unfortunate."

Brown, 24, has been in legal hot water since February 2009 when he was charged with domestic violence after beating his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.

In addition to the probation revocation triggered by the traffic incident this summer, the Los Angeles County district attorney has accused Brown of violating probation by fraudulently reporting that he had completed the community labor ordered as part of his sentence for beating Rihanna.

Brown is set to be in court Friday for the judge to set a date for a probation revocation trial, which could send him to jail.

Geragos said the driver who accused Brown after a traffic accident in May did not get any money in her settlement with his client.

"She did not want to pursue this," he said. "She did not understand that this could even be a criminal matter and said she didn't want to pursue criminal charges."

The city attorney who was prosecuting the case objected to the compromise because of Brown's felony probation status and his allegedly aggressive behavior in the incident.

Olga Gure told investigators that after Brown's Range Rover rear-ended her Mercedes on a Los Angeles street, he "went ballistic" and screamed at her.

Gure said Brown shouted at her: "You are a b---h!"

The report added more from Gure, who quoted Brown as saying, "Who do you think you are, b---h? Do you think if you driving Mercedes so got money, b---h? Do you think I am just a black n----r? I got more money than you, beech!"

The trigger for Brown's alleged rage was that Gure took a photo of him and his girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, to document the scene because he allegedly refused to show her his driver's license, she said.

When Brown tried to grab the camera, Tran screamed, "Don't touch her, don't touch her," Gure said.

"I was so shocked that I was speechless," she said, according to the report. "Just a moment ago he was a nice guy. After screaming some insulting nonsense for a while longer, he slammed a door and drove away, fast and noisy."

Brown was ordered to return to court on Friday for a hearing to set a trial date to determine if the probation revocation will stand. If it does, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin could order Brown to jail to serve part of the original five-year jail sentence imposed for the attack on Rihanna.

Brown punched Rihanna inside a rented Lamborghini on a Hollywood street, leaving her face bruised and bloody on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February 2009.

He entered a guilty plea seven months later and was sentenced to serve five years probation and to spend more than 1,400 hours in "labor-oriented service" for the assault conviction. The judge allowed him to serve the sentence in Richmond, Virginia, under the direct supervision of the police chief.

In a court filing in February, prosecutors accused Brown of not completing the community labor. The paperwork Brown submitted to show he had completed community labor is "at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting," District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. Brown wasn't in town on some of the dates reported, the motion said.

Geragos, Brown's attorney, said the prosecutor's filing was so fraudulent that he would ask the judge to punish the deputy district attorneys involved and call for a contempt of court hearing for filing false documents with the court.

"And I don't mean just false, it is fraudulent," Geragos said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has "tortured" Brown during his probation more than any client he's ever had, Geragos said.

The prosecutor is asking the judge to order him to restart his 1,400 hours of community service under the supervision of a Los Angeles probation officer.

CNN's Topher Gauk-Roger contributed to this report.

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