By Mike Bruno
Updated February 20, 2009 at 07:00 PM EST

Following an entertainment website’s publishing last night of a closeup photograph of what appears to be Rihanna‘s badly beaten face, the Los Angeles Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the source of the leak. “The photograph has the appearance ofone taken during an official Domestic Violence investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintainthe confidentiality of victims of domestic violence,” the LAPD said viaa statement released on Thursday.”The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint. A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination.”

The LAPD has not officially identified Rihanna as the alleged victim in the “>Chris Brown domestic violence case, but it said in its statement that last night it received “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 police statement encourages anyone with information about the source of the photo to call or visit the department’s website.