WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police have opened an internal affairs investigation into statements made by an officer who responded to reports that singer Chris Brown had punched a man outside a Washington hotel.

That probe centers around a disputed conversation between the officer and an unidentified acquaintance of Brown, discrepancies that will likely be important to resolve as the criminal prosecution moves forward. The apparent inconsistencies are described in charging documents laying out the assault case against Brown and his bodyguard.

According to the police records, the acquaintance told detectives at the scene that the officer said Brown had never struck the alleged victim. The officer then denied even speaking with the acquaintance.

However, a uniformed Secret Service officer at the scene reported overhearing the conversation with the officer and confirmed the acquaintance’s story. And the accuser denied ever saying that Brown never struck him.

An Associated Press reporter who had previously asked the police department about that conversation was contacted this week by an internal affairs investigator assigned to the probe. The investigator confirmed a review was underway.

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