Rap Video Threat Keeps LAPD on Edge

Activists were demanding the LA County District Attorney to prosecute officers involved in the killings of two men

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters marched on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 in downtown Los Angeles to call attention to the death by LAPD officers of Ezell Ford.

    Tensions have been running high since last week's LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford.

    Now some of his family members have released a music video on social media which has police more concerned than usual about their own safety.

    It's a music video that's touched off an alert to all Los Angeles police officers.

    Rapper Shocked by LAPD Response to Music Video

    [LA] Rapper Shocked by LAPD Response to Music Video
    Rapper Ceebo says he's shocked by the police union's response to a music video he made in response to the death of cousin Ezell Ford. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 August 21, 2014.

    It features Ceebo Tha Rapper, who is also a cousin of Ezell Ford, who was shot and killed by LA police officers last week.

    "He says, 'F the police,' which generally is not an endearing phrase," said Tyler Izen, the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. "And then everybody in there, while they're singing and chanting and dancing, simulate a pistol with their hands and they're pointing them at the camera. What is one to assume from that?"

    Chief Beck Asks for Patience in Police Killings Investigations

    [LA] Chief Beck Asks for Patience in Police Killings Investigations
    Police Chief Charlie Beck asks community members for patience during the investigations into police killings that has residents and activists outraged. Beverly White reports from South Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

    The LA police union is assuming the video is calling for revenge on officers and that's why this alert went out, warning LA police to be on heightened alert.

    "Because there's no discussion in that video about getting together and talking this out and trying to make sure in the future we don't lose lives," Izen said.

    Ceebo said he was shocked LAPD issued an alert in response to this music video.

    "There was never any intent to threaten any police or nothing. But I guess that's how they want to take it," he said.

    He said the hand gestures were not intended to be threatening, and said he's simply an artist grieving his cousin.

    "He walked slow. Took his time. Never talked to nobody. It was clear he wasn't a threat. I don't even understand where the stop came from," he said of his cousin's death.

    Community leaders are calling for discussion.

    "You have to have honest dialogue and there has to be transparency," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, of the LA Urban Policy Roundtable.

    On Tuesday, the LAPD held a community meeting about the Ford shooting.

    It lasted for hours and was often tense, but it's dialogue the police union says it wants to see more of and less videos like this one.

    They also want the public to know there are two sides and that their officers are human, too.

    "Nobody wants to lose a loved one and I have great empathy for them," Izen said. "I can also say that the officers involved weren't interested in taking a life that night."

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