MC Hammer Claims Arrest by 'Chubby Elvis Looking Dude' Was Racial Profiling

That's Criminal 9

MC HammerIf things went down as rapper MC Hammer says they did, then we have a pretty clear-cut case of racial profiling by a California police officer. And boy did he pick the wrong guy to profile.

It started last week when Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Burrell, was arrested in Dublin, Calif., on charges of obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting and officer. It seemed a little out of character for the former rapper who has since become an ordained minister, but after Hammer's side came out, it makes a whole lot more sense.

He took to Twitter this weekend, and unleashed on the arresting officer to his 3.1 million followers. By his account, things were not legit at all.

He started by saying, "Sometimes in life you choose to "Fight" and other times the "Fight" chooses you. Dignity is not a crime." Then he explained that a "chubby elvis looking dude" pulled him over and tapped on his window. The first thing he said to Hammer when he rolled down his window was, "Are you on parole or probation?"

Say what? I've been pulled over several times in my life, and no one has ever asked me that. How about you? That then set the tone for the rest of what went down. He wrote:

While I was handing him my ID he reached in my car and tried to pull me out the car but forgot he was on a steady donut diet. ..

It was comical to me until he pulled out his guns, blew his whistle and yelled for help (MallCop) !!! But make no mistake he's dangerous ..

He continued:

I will now answer his question, contrary to his personal beliefs, all people of color are not on parole or probation fat boy !!!

So while he did get a little snarky, in the end, he said he's not bitter. Instead he said he's going to use it as a "teachable moment" and "eye opener" for his friends and colleagues. Good for him. 

Of course, there are always two sides to every story. Sheriff's Lt. Herbert Walters confirmed Hammer's arrest for the Los Angeles Times and said he was taken into custody when police realized his vehicle's registration was expired and wasn't registered to him. He said, "Hammer became very argumentative when questioned about the vehicle. He refused to exit the vehicle when the officer asked him to and continued to argue."

But if it happened as Hammer says it did, then his being argumentative is understandable. Police have officers have an amazingly difficult and dangerous job, and in many cases they have to use their best judgement in what could potentially be a dangerous situation. But that doesn't excuse them from treating all people equally regardless of any stereotypes or preconceived notions they may have. Sadly this likely happens every day across the country to people who don't have the platform to spread the word about it. So while it's unfortunate if it did indeed happen to Hammer as he says, it could also help shed a light on the problem and spark more discussion about this shameful practice.

Do you think this was an incident of racial profiling?


Image via Julie Ryan Evans

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bills... billsfan1104

You have already tried and convicted this cop. You have decided to take MC Hammers side. I hope there was a dash cam that recorded this.

kelti... kelticmom

I could believe it. In college I dated a black guy that was a dentist's son and drove a Land Rover. One day, we got pulled over and one of the first things out of the (white) cop's mouth was, "how do afford this vehicle son?". Then, even after presented with license, registration, etc, he comes over to my side and asks "are you ok ma'am?". Of course, this was in Arkansas, so go figure.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Is this racial profiling? How the heck do we know? All we are given are the snarky and nasty comments of a man who is supposed to be "God's servant" (isn't that what ministers are?).

Could it be racial profiling? I suppose. But it could just as easily be a white cop doing his job, pulling over a car with an expired plate being driven by a black man with a massive chip on his shoulder and a Twitter account with a following. Unless, as Bills says, there's a dash-cam or other recording of this incident, it's going to go down as just another overblown he said/he said.

hotrd... hotrdumommy

Um I've been pulled over for expired registration and the car wasn't registered to me and all I was told was get it taken care of. Something is off about this story...not picking sides but....

jalaz77 jalaz77

I am getting one side of the story. For being an ordained minister he is still an idiot, resorts to calling names?! Not what I call a religious gentleman. Once an ass always an ass.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I also agree with Ponychaser.

Katy Khan

An ordained minister who has no respect for the law and those who enforce it and resorts to name calling? I can't believe how disrespectful his attitude is. Just be honest with the officer that pulls you over. I'm a middle class white woman who was pulled over while moving some boxes from my home in one state to my mil's house in another. The officer acted really suspicious of me and asked whats in the boxes and why am i moving them and why this and that. I answered honestly and then went on my way. Also, statistcailly, a black male is far more likely than anyone else to commit a crime in America. Sorry but it's true. Just like a white woman driving a mini van full of kids is far more likely than non white women to be a 'soccer mom'. It's a fact. I personally don't find facts offensive. No one wants to be mistreated by police,  but asking questions isn't mistreating and I'd like to know what he did to make an officer pull a gun out. 

MissF... MissFrenchie

I live less than 10 miles from Dublin, CA and the police there can often be downright rude. I was pulled over for having a tail light out while on my way home from my job as a restaurant manager. The first thing out of this guy's mouth when he approached my car was to reprimand me quite strongly for not ALREADY having my license, registration, and insurance card out. I apologized and explained that I didn't want to be reaching for something inside my massive purse when he approached the window (last cop in Dublin who pulled me over yelled at me for reaching for something as he was approaching so I was understandably nervous) and he rolled his eyes at me. Proceeded to pull me out of the car and full on sobriety test me (I hadn't had a drop of alcohol) and when everything including a breathalyzer came back fine his comment was "hmmm surprising". Ummm what?!?! Just because I'm under 30 and driving home late doesn't mean I'm automatically a drunk kid. I can believe MC Hammer's story.

nonmember avatar victoria

i am also from this area, and am a 5'2" white girl, and everytime a cop has pulled me over they have asked if i was on probation, or if i have warrents out for me. to me, it seems like this is fairly normal. maybe is hammer profiling the cop as he is lashing out with anti-white slurs, anti cop slurs, and automatically assuming the worst. i'm sorry, but last i checked, in california, driving on an expired tags is illegal, and the cop was doing his job to pull him over. i'll bet anythinng that hammer was being rude and disrespectful long before the cop said anything that is borderline at best offensive. get over yourself hammer, you were famous for 5.2 seconds in the early '90, your just trying to be relevent again.

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