Target: William West, Cumberland County District Attorney
Goal: Drop charges against the unlawfully arrested Christopher Beatty
On April 29th, Rapper Christopher Beatty, “Xstrav,” was arrested by a plain-clothes officer outside a liquor store in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Beatty had been drinking a can of iced tea when the officer approached him and demanded that Beatty hand over the can. When Beatty refused, the officer insisted that Beatty was trespassing told him to leave the property.
Beatty refused, and the officer forced him to the ground as Beatty attempted to reason with the officer – insisting that his beverage contained no alcohol and showing the officer the can. The officer placed Beatty in handcuffs, leaving him on the ground as he waited for a police vehicle to arrive. During this whole ordeal, he threatened to arrest Beatty’s companion, who happened to catch the entire incident on film.
The first problem is that the officer provided no identification. Without displaying a badge, stating that one is a police officer does not warrant compliant behavior from a suspect. Further, Beatty was standing in the parking lot of a store from which he had just purchased the iced tea, making him a customer rather than a loiterer. Beatty was not breaking any law that the officer was accusing him of – possessing an open container of alcohol, nor trespassing on private property. Despite these facts, the officer still placed Beatty under arrest. Now Beatty faces misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.
This is a gross violation of Beatty’s rights – he was observing every aspect of the law, and as video evidence shows, he remained calm and attempted to reason with the officer. After he clearly showed the officer that his beverage contained no alcohol, the officer attempted to find any reason to arrest Beatty, hence the trespassing claim. Beatty committed no crime, nor was violent when apprehended. Signing this petition will demand that the Cumberland County District Attorney should drop all charges against Christopher Beatty. This incident is not only a violation of Beatty’s rights, but serves as an example to the population of Cumberland County that they should fear racial profiling from those who are designated to serve and protect them.
Dear William West, Cumberland County District Attorney,
The arrest of Christopher Beatty, known as rapper “Xstrav” on April 29th by a plain clothes officer was a violation of Beatty’s constitutional rights and a horrific example of racial profiling. As Christopher Beatty’s beverage contained no alcohol, nor was he trespassing on private property due to his purchase at the liquor store which he was apprehended in front of, the officer had no reason to detain Beatty. The officer did not display a badge or any proof that he was an officer of the law, yet he apprehended Beatty after his initial claims were proven false.
As video evidence shows Beatty’s compliance, his calm approach to the confrontation, and a clear view of the beverage showing that it was non-alcoholic, this arrest was made without any basis. The officer failed to adhere to legal procedure, such as displaying identification, and created allegations on the spot to find reasons to arrest Beatty. Some would call this entrapment.
To allow these charges to pass would display an immense disrespect for Beatty’s civil rights, and the rights of all suspects apprehended by officers based on bias – and no citizen should be afraid of following the law and still facing legal repercussion. I urge you to drop charges against Beatty, not only to show your officers that such conduct is unacceptable and they should follow due process of law, but as a statement to the citizens under your jurisdiction: “you do not need to fear our police force, we are here to help you.” The police force is a tool for the citizen, not against the citizen. As Beatty broke no laws – I demand justice for him following his arrest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Evil-voodoo-twin via Deviantart