Coup Rapper Victim of Racial Profiling

14 years ago view-show 562,815

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      You really can’t go a week without a popular rapper getting into some legal trouble, but you know what? Cops don’t like underground emcees either. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Coup’s lead emcee, Boots Riley was a victim of racial profiling while leaving a friends get-together at a Bay area warehouse.

      “They were saying, ‘Don’t f***ing move, don’t f***ing move,’ and came straight at me," Riley told the Guardian’s Kim Chun. "They put my hands above my head, searched me, and searched my car, even though they were looking for someone who was stealing tires. You know, if they had a description of a light-skinned black man with a big Afro and sideburns, maybe they should have taken me in. But they were yelling, ‘Are you on probation? Do you have a warrant?’ And every time I said no, they said, ‘Don’t lie to us. Don’t f***ing lie to us.’"

      They also had Boots at gunpoint as neighbors walked by checking out the scene. In the end, Boots was let go and he is considering filing a grievance with the Office of Citizen Complaints, since they didn’t even check his ID.

      "Usually it’s not anything with me specifically being a rapper," he said. "I might have even more protection because of that. Like at this get-together, somebody came up and said, ‘Don’t you know who this is? This is Boots Riley.’ They might not have known who I am, but they realize this isn’t the regular case where they can do whatever they want."