News Column

MC Hammer Arrest: Dublin Police Refute Rapper's Allegations

Feb 26, 2013

Rick Hurd, Daniel J. Jimenez and Katy Murphy, Contra Costa Times

On Twitter, rapper MC Hammer describes his arrest last week by Dublin police as "a teachable moment," but the agency insists it did nothing wrong and took exception to some of his post-arrest tweets.

Hammer lashed out at police Saturday on Twitter, two days after his arrest on suspicion of obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting an officer.

Hammer, 50, an Oakland native and Tracy resident whose birth name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, was arrested Thursday at the Hacienda Crossings shopping center, according to Dublin police Lt. Herb Walters.

Police on Monday had a different version than Hammer's. Walters said Hammer was blaring his music, uncooperative and argumentative,

and that he refused to answer any questions about his vehicle. The vehicle was not registered to Hammer, Walters said.

Hammer lashed out on Twitter on Saturday, telling his 3.1 million followers that he was accosted without cause by a "chubby elvis looking dude" who he said tapped "on my car window," and, when Hammer rolled his window down, asked, "Are you on parole or probation?"

Walters said Hammer "was playing his stereo very loud, to the point where the officer said he could hear it from 50 feet away." Walters said the officer tried to communicate with Hammer but was met with obstinance during the encounter.

Hammer also maintained on Twitter that the officer tried to pull him from the car and that the officer "pulled out his guns, blew his whistle and yelled for help." Later, he tweeted that "the only thing more dangerous than a scared man with a gun is a scared man with an agenda, a gun and badge."

Said Walters of the rapper's claim the officer drew guns: "No. That did not happen."

Walters also responded to a tweet by Hammer that said Hammer was injected with something "under the guise of a 'Skin Test'"when he was booked at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

"He was given a tuberculosis injection, which is standard operating procedure when anyone is booked into the jail," Walters said. "When someone comes to the jail, we don't know if they have TB or not, so, again, it's standard operating procedure."

Burrell, 50, is a multiplatinum recording artist who scored hits with songs like "U Can't Touch This" and "Too Legit to Quit." A devout Christian who has spoken publicly about his faith on numerous occasions, Burrell has not had any previous public run-ins with the law.

Burrell declined interview requests sent through Twitter over the weekend and could not be reached for comment Monday. On Sunday, his flurry of commentary slowed, but he continued to respond to supportive fans, re-tweeting one post that called him the "Honorary Mayor of the Bay Area."

The morning after his arrest, Burrell appeared at San Quentin Prison as a mentor in the "Last Mile" program, which helps inmates prepare for new lives out of custody by encouraging them to develop smartphone and computer apps. He also said he's not bitter.

"Instead of being bitter, I'm taking the opportunity to make this a 'teachable moment' and 'eye opener' for many friends & colleagues," he tweeted.



Source: (c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.