Legendary singer James Brown was sentenced to prison today (December 15, 1988), after leading police on a wild chase in South Carolina.
James Brown appeared in court in South Carolina, where a judge sentenced him to six years in prison, over the interstate car chase, in which James Brown was allegedly intoxicated.
The singer was convicted of failing to stop for police, and assault of a high and aggravated nature.
In April 2007, the Washington Post obtained an FBI report regarding the car chase, under the Freedom of Information Act.
Apparently, James Brown and his then wife Adrienne, called a contact in the FBI to complain about the treatment James Brown had received by local police in South Carolina.
The altercation between James Brown and the police is scary, to say the least.
According to the FBI report, the incident started when James Brown arrived at his office in Augusta, Georgia, and noticed that someone had been in the building.
He went back to his truck, retrieved his shotgun and went back into the office.
Brown learned that there was a separate meeting going on somewhere in the office complex and that the people who attended this meeting, had used a bathroom in his office.
James Brown was upset over the incident and left the area with the shotgun in his truck.
He then drove on I-20 into South Carolina, where he noticed two police vehicles in a V-shape formation, blocking his path.
According to the FBI report, over six police vehicles converged on the scene.
One officer kicked the vehicle door and broke a window, which alarmed Brown and caused him to remain in the car, because he was in fear of his life.
A police officer then shot at James Brown truck and hit it at least eight times, while another fired approximately 9 shots at the hood and tires.
In total, over 23 shots struck James Brown’s truck, causing him to start up the vehicle and drive away on flat tires.
Over 20 policemen chased Brown and when he was caught, he claimed the arresting officers roughed him up.
While he was handcuffed and awaiting the booking process, another officer came over and struck Brown in the jaw, causing injury to his face and dentures.
James Brown eventually served three years, with 15 months of his prison sentence at the State Park Correctional Facility, near Columbia, South Carolina, before he was transferred to a prison in Aiken.
During his incarceration, James Brown worked for a nonprofit called Aiken and Barnwell Community County Action Commission, where he counseled youth for drug abuse, for over 11 months.
“It was extremely harsh, not commiserate at all with the crime,” James Brown’s lawyer Reginald D. Simmons said of the sentencing.
James Brown was eventually released in February 1991.
In May of 2003, James Brown was officially pardoned by the State of South Carolina for his crimes.
Check out a hilarious TV interview with James after another arrest in 1988.