Busta Rhymes was arrested Saturday for beating down a concert-goer that accidentally spit on his vehicle. Busta’s lawyer claims the arrest was “payback” for not cooperating in the investigation into his bodyguard Ramirez’s death at a video shoot in February. A law enforcement source admitted as much to the NY Daily News: “I don’t know if this is normally something he would even be arrested for. But his bouncer was killed and he didn’t want to cooperate. This is our way of dealing with it.”
Granted, stomping out some dude for spitting on/near your car is the height of can’t-control-your-temper ridiculousness. But since details on the incident are scant, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight was minor, and was manipulated to get Busta into custody.
I can’t help thinking that NYPD has made a major misstep in their investigation by hauling Bussa Bus into the station and trying to force him to cooperate. And under the glare of the media spotlight, no less. If they had waited it out and let the pressure within the community build, they may have had a hope in hell of getting him to talk.
If Internet chatter is any indication, it seems like folks are getting fed up with unsolved rap-related crimes. There’s been a fair bit of criticism directed at Rhymes on the web; time and time again it’s pointed out that Ramirez was a close friend and that it’s outrageous that the rapper has remained silent—“No Snitching” code or not. There’s been pressure from the family, too. The late bodyguard’s sister spoke out to the press last week. “He doesn’t give two diddlies about my brother,” Sonia Rodriguez told the New York Post. “At this point, I honestly believe Busta is using my brother’s death as a publicity stunt – and I’m angry. He may perceive it as this is how he shows he cares, but I don’t see it. He’s really got a lot to do to prove me wrong, and talking to the cops about what happened that night would be a big step.”
Not for nothing, I read Derrick Parker (a/k/a The Hip-Hop Cop’s) tell-all book this weekend and, despite his grating tendency to sing his own praises at very turn, he does a great job of detailing why the NYPD has such a dysfunctional relationship with hip-hop. With the Biggie, Pac and Jam Master Jay homicides still unsolved, the rap patrol chasing down dudes for bullshit weed charges, clueless cops strong-arming shook witnesses, and opportunistic detectives trying to make career moves by taking down rap stars—not to mention the long history of police brutality toward African-Americans—it’s no wonder the efforts of law enforcement to curb hip-hop crime have been a spectacular failure. I doubt this case will be any different.