NYPD BLOW

The setting up of a special unit to monitor the hiphop community has invoked the wrath of a lawyer whose clients have included Jay-Z, DMX and Shyne...

NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT has been accused of “racial profiling”, after setting up a special unit to monitor the rap community.

And the lawyer who has represented JAY Z, DMX and Shyne, has called the measures “fascistic” and “unquestionably racist”, and likened them to the tactics of Nazi Germany.

The ‘hiphop detectives’ were assembled in order to prevent crimes at music industry events, and will be focusing their attention on celebrity parties, and rappers with criminal records.

Thought to be a response to a number of rap-related crimes in the city, the initiative is designed, says an NYPD spokesman “to protect the general public, as well as those in the music industry, from those who may be proceeding with criminal activity”. The move has enraged both rappers and their legal representatives.

Bronx lawyer Murray Richman said: “It’s just like the Germans ‘protected’ the Jews. I love people who want to protect me from myself. I love people who offer protection when no protection has been requested.

“Rather than say it’s racially profiled, they’re claiming it’s an industry profile. It’s a clear situation. Who are the rappers in New York? They’re all African-Americans and this is clear racial profiling with all the negative connotations.”

A spokesperson for the NYPD told NME.COM: “I don’t understand the basis of his comments. Nobody said we were targetting rappers – we are targetting the music industry, where there have been a number of incidents. No one incident was responsible.”

To read more, see this week’s full report in NME, on sale across the UK today (May 2).