The former police officer who leaked the photo depicting Rihanna’s battered face after she was attacked by Chris Brown had her firing upheld in court, a judge ruled Thursday.
Former Los Angeles police officer Rebecca Reyes took a picture of an evidence photo and the image ended up on celebrity website TMZ. Reyes continues to deny that she sent it to the site, according to the New York Daily News.
Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin issued a ruling agreeing with the decisions of a disciplinary panel and Police Chief Charlie Beck to fire Reyes in 2012. After reviewing the record, Lavin also concluded that evidence supports that Reyes, “participated in the release of the photography showing Ms. Fenty’s injuries to TMZ.”
The judge said he agreed that Reyes should no longer be a police officer.
“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,” Lavin wrote in his ruling.
Reyes’ attorney, Ira Salzman, accepted the ruling without argument during a brief hearing Thursday.
Reyes had been an officer for 10 years before she was fired. In the hours after the Rihanna attack, Reyes was assigned to a team planning to arrest Brown but was pulled off the assignment. She saw an evidence photo of Rihanna’s injuries at her precinct and snapped a photo to share with others, including a former girlfriend who records show called TMZ.
The ex-girlfriend, also a Los Angeles police officer, told investigators she called the celebrity news site only to verify details of the attack that Reyes shared with her.
Salzman said 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.”