Singer Chris Brown Won't be Charged for Snatching Cell Phone from Woman who tried to Photograph him

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which has prosecuted me three times for recording cops in public, will not prosecute singer Chris Brown for snatching a woman’s cell phone after she tried to take a photo of him on South Beach.

According to the Miami Herald:

A memo released Friday by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office concludes there is no evidence that Brown intended to steal the phone in February or that he deleted the photo. One or the other is necessary for him to be charged.

Prosecutors say that Brown tossed the phone from his limo and that it was picked up by security.

Given Brown’s history of violence against women, it shouldn’t have been a stretch to charge him with assault.

But the message is clear. Photographers are free game on the streets of Miami-Dade.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • IO_IO

    So let me understand this in its totality. You steal or “remove a material item from another person’s possession that does not belong to you”, and because you did not intend to do it, there is no crime? I am sorry, I do not understand. This is absolutely absurd.

    • Difdi

      Apparently Chris Brown has been judged to be mentally incompetent by the authorities. He is not responsible for his actions, therefore he cannot intend to steal when he robs someone.

  • RaymondbyEllis

    I guess I can proceed on my collection of watches, wallets, or necklaces.. I have never intended to steal them, nor would I ever intend to delete them. If I drop them so much the better in proving my intent wasn’t to steal.

    If a yank a purse from a woman, then toss it, it’s all good?

  • Jon Quimbly

    Easy guess, Brown’s people found a lawyer with ties to the attorney’s office (i.e. went to school with Rundle), who sweet-talked the charges away.

  • Mike Ross

    If the prosecutor won’t prosecute, the victim can bring a private prosecution…

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      “A public prosecution for a criminal offense must be conducted by the proper official representative of the state, and must not under any circumstances be placed under the entire management and control of private parties or their attorneys.”

      Jerry v. State, 99 Fla. 1330, 1332, 128 So. 807, 808 (1930)

      • Mike Ross

        That’s interesting. In the UK a private individual can bring a private criminal prosecution for many offenses, if the public prosecution service decline to bring charges. The public prosecution do have the right to take over such a prosecution, and drop it – but that would make huge waves and result in a lot of questions being asked; it’s easy to use a mealy-mouthed excuse to decline to prosecute, it’s a whole different ballgame to pro-actively intervene and stop a prosecution that someone has started. It’s a seldom-used right, but a valuable one. Keeps public prosecutors honest.

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          It used to be that way in the U.S., but that has pretty much gone away. As far as I can tell, only Virginia and Pennsylvania still have any form of it, and I’m not clear on exactly how it works in either state.