Charlotte Police Investigating Whether Cops Followed Protocol While Arresting DaBaby After A Concert
The rapper claims his car was "unlawfully" searched just before a concert in his hometown.
December 26, 2019 at 11:30 pm
DaBaby was detained by police in Charlotte, North Carolina, Monday night after performing for his fans at a concert. The rapper said he was arrested and cited for petty marijuana possession and was "unlawfully" searched before his show.
According to WCNC, the Grammy-nominated rapper arrived at his show around 8:50 p.m. in a white Dodge Charger. Security for the event allegedly smelled a "strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle."
Officers also said they "observed marijuana in plain view inside the Dodge Charger while utilizing their flashlights.”
DaBaby recorded the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers searching his car with flashlights and posted it to social media.
"CMPD – unlawful police department. Unlawfully searched my car, arrested me," DaBaby said.
They really tryina arrest #DaBaby In his own city ???????? pic.twitter.com/wgSuVuIehT
— DJ Swale (@SwaleTho) December 24, 2019
The rapper's entourage said he was wrongfully targeted by CMPD and was detained after officers received a "bogus" tip about weapons and drugs inside the car.
Police records revealed officers seized less than a one-half ounce of marijuana from the car. The estimated value was only $45.
DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, was transported downtown to the county sheriff's office where he was given two citations and later released.
Kirk was cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and resisting arrest which he claims is untrue.
"So what we've got is high-quality video and audio of me doing everything but resisting arrest before they just brought me out here. And we will be airing it out. And you will see how dirty the CMPD police department," he said.
He reiterated those same sentiments on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
We gone let the police department use the local news channels to cover their tracks then I’ll give the world our perspective. Keep in mind we have high resolution video and audio over here at the hottest label in the world. ????
— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) December 24, 2019
CMPD released a statement on Tuesday providing more details surrounding the incident.
"Officers stated that Kirk walked away from them and he refused to speak with the officers. Officers stated they detained Kirk in handcuffs and indicated they legally searched the vehicle," the report read.
Jonathan Kirk issued two North Carolina Uniform Citations pic.twitter.com/mjOB0gfzKL
— CMPD News (@CMPD) December 24, 2019
DaBaby said he's been repeatedly harassed by Charlotte police.
“Black Excellence right here in our own city, [and] they hate it,” he said on Twitter.
"Every time. There's nobody when I pull up in the parking lot, the second I get out the car, 15 cops come around," he added.
A Charlotte-based photographer criticized the police department's actions and accused them of creating a “public relations battle with one of the most popular rappers in the world.”
In response to Kirk's claims, CMPD has opened an internal investigation to determine if police followed protocol during the incident.
According to the Charlotte Observer, between 2014 and 2016 officers in Charlotte arrested 762 Black people for less than a half-ounce of marijuana and only 64 white people.
In the state of North Carolina, Black people, who make up less than a quarter of the population, account for half of the marijuana possession arrests.
American Civil Liberties Union report that Black people are four times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Just hours before being detained, DaBaby spent the day giving away gifts and spreading holiday cheer to 200 children.