NYPD admits to Hip Hop Task Force

Slicksno.com -  Hip Hop NewsIn recent reports the Miami PD has been catching a lot of heat for their alleged surveillance and profiling of rappers. This practice was started with help and information from the NYPD, who has been rumored to have it’s own rap intellegence unit.

Due to the uncovering of Miami’s little secret, New York City Police department officials acknowledge that they did exchange information with the Miami Police department, but still denied the existence of a team assigned to keep track of rappers activities.

According to the Village Voice, a two month investigation into the existence of such a team produced proof that there is such a division within the NYPD.

Retired detective Dereck Parker says he was the founder and architect of the intelligence operation. Parker, says the basis of this unit was his personal expertise, initiative, and an assignment starting in the 1990s to be a one-man shop keeping tabs on any and all incidents involving rappers or their crews. NYPD attention to rappers really came to a head, according to Parker, after the 1997 murder of rapper Biggie Smalls.

Parker was also the officer that the NYPD sent to “exchange information” with the Miami PD.

NYPD had this to say about the so called “Hip Hop Task Force”:

“We have an intelligence division and we have detectives that monitor the music industry and any incidents regarding the music industry,” says Officer Doris Garcia, an NYPD spokesperson. “And in regards to Miami P.D. we did exchange information, and that’s it.”

Several leaders have spoken out against this type of police activity including hip hop music heavyweight Russell Simmons. “They don’t follow around every rock and roll outlaw. They should be following around all these drug dealers that are real obvious,” he says. “You know who the drug dealers are. You know all of their names. Why are you wasting your police force energy on singers?”

Benjamin Chavis-Muhammad, head of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), said, “A very dangerous precedent has been set. It needs to be exposed, and we’re going to take legal action against these police departments for violating the constitutional rights of hiphop artists.”

As for Parker, he defends the actions of the unit, “We prevented certain crimes because when you started talking to rappers and you knew they had hits on them and you were on to them, people wouldn’t go and shoot them or rob them if they knew you were around. . . Most of the time, it’s not the rappers, it’s the guys in their entourages that cause the problems.”