Free Minds & Free Markets

'Monkey Business': Chris Brown Might Go to Jail Over His Adorable Pet

The punishment would certainly not fit the crime.

Last December, singer Chris Brown posted a video to Instagram of his daughter, Royalty, playing with a pet capuchin monkey named Fiji.

The video was adorable, and it's worth watching:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CHRIS BROWN (@chrisbrownofficial) on Dec 6, 2017 at 6:46pm PST

Cute or no, Captain Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) told the Associated Press in January that about six people called in to complain. It turns out Brown didn't have a permit to own Fiji, which was problematic. According to CDFW regulations, capuchin monkeys are just one of many animals you need to obtain a permit in order to own. And permits are not given out for "pet purposes," the agency says.

Brown agreed to give up Fiji, but it might not be enough. Citing legal documents, TMZ reported today that he faces two misdemeanor counts of possessing "a restricted species without a permit." If convicted, Brown could be looking at six months behind bars (which is a stiffer penalty than he received for assaulting Rihanna). A spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney's office confirmed TMZ's report to the Daily Mail.

Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, told TMZ in January that it was a waste of resources for the prosecutors to pursue charges against Brown. "As I leave my office in Downtown L.A. and walk past people sleeping on the street on my way to defend people charged by the city attorney with selling medical spending taxpayer money on investigating monkey business, this completes the circle on his absurdity," Geragos told the outlet.

There doesn't appear to be any evidence that Brown mistreated the monkey, or that he obtained it in a nefarious way. That jail is even an option for such a minor offense is absurd, but not unheard of. In July, I wrote about a Key West tourist who was sentenced to 15 days behind bars for collecting 40 conch seashells. There's also the Florida man sentenced in September to 20 years in prison for stealing $600 worth of cigarettes. And don't forget about the man sentenced in 2016, under Louisiana's since-reformed habitual offender law, to life behind bars for stealing $31 worth of candy bars.

Does it make a difference if Fiji is endangered? Yes, but not in the way one might think. "One thing that we know that helps endangered animals more than endangered species lists," Reason's Nick Gillepsie said in 2011, "is actually giving people ownership rights over animals":

"In a libertarian society," he continued, "there would be ownership of more types of animals, and there would be more types of animals."

Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok/REUTERS/Newscom Instagram via chrisbrownofficial

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney's office confirmed TMZ's report to the Daily Mail.

    At least we have verification.

  • A Lady of Reason||

    They've gone bananas if they think owning a pet monkey is a jailable offense!

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    We're avoiding the issue of the obvious racial slur going on here.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Pet like a thug...
    You know the rest

  • Mongo||

    "This is my pet monkey 'Simian Herp'. Don't stare at him - he'll flip out."

  • Dillinger||

    same dude beat the ever loving fuck out of Rhianna's face yes?

  • Mongo||

    She shouldn't have stared at him.

  • Dizzle||

    While what he did is absolutely an italian-American and auto enthusiast...she did chuck the keys to a Lamborghini and lose them cuz she was pissed at him. Lambo abuse > domestic abuse. She messed with the bull n got some horns

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Are you implying he also probably beat his monkey?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Doesn't every guy spank his monkey every once in a while?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look, beating the shit out of your girlfriend is bad, but obviously not owning-an-unlicensed-monkey-bad.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeap, fuck that asshole.

  • Jerryskids||

    That is a cute video! Have you got the one where the monkey gets pissed off for no apparent reason and starts tearing her face off?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    This makes an interesting read. It's an AHS compendium of primate attacks and escapes.

    Monkeys are terrible pets. They aren't like dogs or cats or any domestic animals that have evolved alongside humans and/or been bred for companionship, assistance etc. They go crazy when couped up, and when they lack the social contact with other monkeys. It's especially not a good idea to combine monkeys with young children, even supervised. A capuchin is quick, and strong, and flips out in a heartbeat, whether from psychological stress, or some social cues that humans aren't even aware of.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If you got your ass kicked by a capuchin, you might want to take some women's self-defense classes.

  • Echospinner||

    Never let the pony tail fool you.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    When will people learn: don't post shit on social media, especially anything involving an animal. If you cry out for attention, don't be surprised if you get attention.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

  • Sevo||

    "Can we hunt and eat endangered animals in a libertarian society?"

    Hell, yes! Get 'em before they're gone. At least some of them *don't* taste like chicken!

  • Eddy||

    "There doesn't appear to be any evidence that Brown mistreated the monkey"

    I thought I'd be able to get in a monkey-spanking joke before anyone else, but of course it was foolish to think I could do such a thing on H&R.

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    I would favor long prison sentences for the people who allowed boa constrictors to take over the Everglades. But capuchin monkeys seem harmless.

  • Zeb||

    A feral population of monkeys would not be insignificant or harmless. But I think they are a lot less likely to establish one than the snakes even if some escape or are set free.

  • cheapmcmbelt||

    Thanks admin for giving such valuable information through your article . Your article is much more similar to word unscramble tool because it also provides a lot of knowledge of vocabulary new words with its meanings.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online