Last  night, a photo reputed to be of Rihanna the night she was allegedly assaulted by boyfriend Chris Brown hit the Web.

It’s a shocking photo, now making the rounds of many gossip blogs and websites. 

Rihannaprebeating Click here to decide for yourself if it’s her and if it’s real.

But the LAPD reportedly thinks it is her. And the photo looks like one of theirs, taken by their officers. Naturally, they are particularly dismayed.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ L.A. Now blog, they are investigating how this photo was obtained and whether someone in their department leaked it.

They are also urging anyone with info on the release of the photo to contact the department by phone, text or through their website, reports Access Hollywood.

Here are portions of the LAPD statement:

“At about 7 PM on February 19, 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section began receiving numerous inquiries about the release of a photograph associated with a domestic violence incident that occurred on February 8, 2009, involving entertainer Chris Brown. The photograph appeared on an entertainment website. The photograph has the appearance of one taken during an official Domestic Violence investigation.”

Keep reading for more from the LAPD:

]]>“The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence,” the statement continues. “The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint.”

The police said any parties involved in the release of the photo will face severe consequences. “A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination,” the statement says.

Related Chris Brown and Rihanna news:

Chris Brown feels ‘bad’ about Rihanna

Chris Brown just lost his ‘Got Milk?’ money

Chris Brown’s stepfather ‘not surprised’ at abuse allegations

Chris Brown loses Wrigley deal, leaves L.A. on private jet

Rihanna allegedly assaulted by Chris Brown

Kanye West ‘devastated’ by Rihanna assault news

Photo: WireImage

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead