Grammy nominated R&B singer Tank says he was the victim of police brutality last Sunday at the conclusion of NBA All Star Weekend in New Orleans.
The incident took place early Sunday morning around 1:30 am. The singer and one of his business partners left the House of Blues in New Orleans in search of their driver. According to a statement release, the pair asked a nearby security officer for directions to their destination and set out on foot.
As Tank rounded the final corner and spotted his vehicle, he was stopped by a New Orleans Police Officer and instructed to turn around.
During the exchange, Tank attempted to negotiate another path to the vehicle and also assured the officer (who was black) that he was not a threat, the officer told said he didn’t owe the singer “any explanations.”
Tank was later approached by three white officers approached and began asking questions. After asking for further explanation, the officers slammed Tank up against a nearby wall, bending one arm behind his back, which trapped the singer’s other arm between his body and the wall.
The officers asked Tank to release the pinned arm, which he could not do.
Apparently fed up at what the officers may have perceived as insubordination (for not releasing his pinned arm), Tank was shot at close range with a taser and forced to the ground.
During the incident, one of the officers told the singer “never mess with the law in New Orleans,” according to a statement released.
“The most frustrating part of the entire incident is knowing that I did not do anything to pose a threat but was treated like a criminal,” he said in the wake of the incident. “With a clean-cut image and a lady by my side, the law took matters into their own hands and chose to endanger my safety and those accompanying me. It’s 2008 and New Orleans is still very much in trouble beyond the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I’m a living witness.”
Tank has engaged the services of the Law Office of Bernard L. Charbonnet, Jr. “My firm intends to vigorously protect his interest as we do for all of our clients,” Charbonnet says.
The incident is still under investigation.
DX will keep you posted as the case develops.