According to reports, Hammer was pulled over on February 22nd after California police noticed that he was driving with expired tags. What happened next depends on whose account you believe: While the official story is that he obstructed an officer in the line of duty, Hammer says the cop actually profiled him, tapping his window and asking, “Are you on parole or probation?” before putting him in handcuffs for belligerence and resisting arrest.
“It was comical to me,” he admitted in a tweet, “until he pulled out his guns, blew his whistle and yelled for help.”
Lt. Herbert Walters, on the other hand, insists the arrest was legitimate.
The rapper was “very argumentative,” he claimed in a press release. His also said Hammer’s registration was outdated and that he was unable to provide any proof of ownership for the vehicle.
It’s unknown at this time whether Hammer will file a lawsuit in response to his arrest, but if he does, the numbers will be on his side. Racial profiling is a well-documented problem in the U.S., with a 2008 study from the ACLU finding that African-Americans in California are stopped, frisked and arrested much more than their white counterparts, with 3,400 more African-Americans stopped for every 10,000 people. On the other side of the coast, officers in Georgia and South California are actually required by law to stop suspected immigrants. Atlanta and Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers could have a field day with this kind of documented discrimination.
As for Hammer, he says his arrest will serve as a “teachable moment” if nothing else.
“Instead of being bitter, I’m taking the opportunity to make this a ‘teachable moment’ and ‘eye opener’ for my many friends & colleagues,” he told his fans on Twitter.