On Wednesday, Chris Brown began the first of 180 days of community labor to which he was sentenced for assaulting former girlfriend Rihanna. In Richmond, Virginia, the 20-year-old R&B singer hacked at weeds, hauled broken metal fencing and even waved at the cameras observing his work, according to footage shot by a local CBS News affiliate.
Dressed in black jeans, a white tank top, a red baseball hat, heavy-duty work gloves and an orange-and-yellow traffic-safety vest, Brown toiled under the Virginia sun as police looked on. Brown slashed at weeds and tree branches, pausing to pick dirt from his metal tool and acknowledge reporters gathered to observe his day. At one point, he carried a section of metal fencing and tossed it away. Extra security has been required to supervise the celebrity, but Gene Lepley, a spokesman for the Richmond Police, said that the costs are being tabulated, and Brown will be responsible for the entire bill.
Posted on Brown's new Web site, MechanicalDummy.com, is a photo of his labor with the following statement: "Stop and think back to the last time you accepted responsibility for something. Undertaking responsibility for each one of your actions is a difficult task, but by admitting your mistakes, you are taking your life to a higher level of accountability."
That photo is followed by a picture of a "No Violence Break the Cycle" T-shirt. Brown also posted the photo of himself working to his Twitter account. "Check out my outfit," he wrote.
Following his February incident with Rihanna, Brown was sentenced to the community labor, five years of probation and one year of domestic-violence counseling. He was also ordered to stay away from Rihanna for five years.