Editors’ note: Ezell Ford’s case is one all-too-familiar: a young and unarmed Black man gunned down by police. Almost as notorious as the shooting itself has been the flagrantly racist and absurd response of the LAPD to a song released in Ford’s honor. Ceebo the Rapper had known Ford since the two were kids. The song and video he released drawing attention to his friend’s memory is an understandably angry call for an end to police violence.
Naturally, the LAPD didn’t take kindly to this. The response of the Los Angeles Police Protective League? Issue an “officer safety alert,” claim that Ceebo is in a gang, and that the video expresses affiliation with the East Coast Crips. There is no such indication in the video, and Ceebo isn’t in the Crips. While the LAPD have quietly retracted the statement, they have yet to offer a public apology. Given the danger that Ceebo could be exposed to with such a smear, to call the police’s actions irresponsible seems mild.
Ceebo the Rapper lives in Los Angeles. He has been rapping and performing since the age of nine.