Chris Brown’s courthouse drama


Fans, journalists and an aggressive security detail swarm the embattled R&B singer outside D.C. Superior Court Wednesday. (JulieAnn McKellogg/The Washington Post)

Camera-toting journalists and U.S. marshals seemed to outnumber the fans who came out to D.C. Superior Court to see Chris Brown during his hearing Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight at the W Hotel last year.

The marshals aggressively shoved reporters trying to get footage of the R&B star on his way into the courthouse, while a handful of fans cheered.

“I came out to support him and let him know that we’re with him,” said Tiffany Crews, a D.C. resident who had donned three jackets in preparation for the cold. “He’s a good man.”

Another Washington resident who identified himself as Shack NdPack called Brown “a genius” and said he’d come to show solidarity. Asked about singer’s bad behavior — he was convicted  in 2009 of a felony domestic violence conviction relating to his 2009 attack on his ex, Rihanna — NdPack said “he’s got to work on that.”

Chris Brown leaves the District of Columbia Superior Court on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo) Chris Brown leaves the District of Columbia Superior Court on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

But many of those gawking at the scene had stumbled on it unexpectedly. Theresa Miles was on her lunch break from jury duty and thought she’d snap a photo to show friends. “I’m not really a Chris Brown fan, but I thought I’d see if I could get a picture,” she said. “I’m just doing my civic duty.” 

About an hour later, Brown emerged from the courthouse, again surrounded by security, to a slightly larger crowd. But those who missed the chance to see the star (in a dark, tailored three-piece suit) will get another chance — he’ll be back for a trial, having rejected a plea deal. (UPDATE: the plea deal wasn’t much of a deal, our colleague Keith Alexander is reporting, since they simply re-offered the same charges: misdemeanor simple assault.)

On the way out, Brown offered a wave to the crowd as security swarmed.

And what a parting gesture it almost was: Brown’s black SUV nearly hit a woman in a wheelchair as it sped away from the curb.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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Helena Andrews · January 8, 2014