By Daniel Kreps, rollingstone.com
Chicago rapper Rhymefest tweeted about being robbed at gunpoint Saturday and later documented with cellphone video his mistreatment by police when attempting to report the robbery. “To the young brother that put the gun to my head this morning & took my wallet. You don’t know how you just damaged your community,” the Kanye West protégé tweeted.
“It’s 730am. you just put a gun in my face for $3 in my wallet. I defend you against police brutality, I work on your behalf you robbed me,” Rhymefest continued. “You don’t know what you did! And who you did it to. I lived here on the southside because I thought it mattered. I’m reconsidering. You were gonna shoot me in the face for a wallet, I had the power to give you a job! I’m not even mad, I’m fuckin’ hurt.”
The rapper then encouraged the mugger to contact him on social media and “apologize and talk to me like a brother.”
Rhymefest’s ordeal didn’t end there, however: When the rapper attempted to report the robbery at a local police station, he was asked to leave after filming an officer’s rude behavior toward him. “You wonder we don’t report crimes? The police treated me disgustingly,” the rapper tweeted, posting a video of his encounter inside the police station.
After Rhymefest posted the video, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted directly to the rapper, “Disappointing to say the least. On behalf of CPD, I apologize for how you were treated. We will be addressing this today.” The rapper replied to Guglielmi, “I would like to bring young people I work with and help you find solutions to help better Police our communities.”
The rapper born Che Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times, “I went from having a guy holding a gun to my head, telling me today is the day I’m going to die, to being treated like a criminal when I tried to make a report.”
You wonder we don't report crimes? The police treated me disgustingly pic.twitter.com/fY9VQrqDpz
— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
According to CNN, Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller also called Rhymefest to apologize to the rapper, who won a Best Original Song Golden Globe and Academy Award in 2015 for co-writing the Selma track “Glory.”
Rhymefest continued to the Sun-Times, “I have police officers that I ride motorcycles with, that are my good friends. I’m not a rabble-rousing activist screaming epithets at the cops. I work with the police. I wanted to make a report… when I walked through the door, it was like (the officers) didn’t see me.”
Rhymefest added that he didn’t reveal to police that he was a well-known rapper until he was about to leave the police station. “I said ‘Oh, by the way, I have two Grammys and an Oscar. And that’s not it. I teach young people, I teach creative writing,'” he said. “And it was like, ‘Now I got your attention. But not when I told you I had a gun to my head.’ I’m sure they’re thinking, ‘We messed up, because that was ‘somebody.’ But that’s not how it should be. How would they feel if somebody that doesn’t have my resources was treated the same way?”