F*** Tha Police is Nothing New in Los Angeles

We’re not against the police.  We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct.


Rap music, especially in Los Angeles, has been known for chronicling the relationship between Blacks and the police. From N.W.A. to Ice-T, the Geto Boys to Tupac, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, rap lyrics about police brutality and even revenge against the police is nothing new.

But now there is this big brouhaha over a recently released video titled “Fuck Tha Police” calling for revenge for the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford in South Los Angeles on August 11. The video has prompted the LAPD’s union to issue a warning to officers to be on “heightened alert and pay extra attention to your tactics and surroundings.”

Whether you’re one of them or not, a lot of people have the attitude of “fuck the police.” That is not breaking news in Los Angeles and I kind of find it hard to believe that LAPD officers are shocked over a video that says just that.  I know for a fact that they’ve seen and heard worse.

Look, no one was beheaded or shot in the video.  The lyrics are not going to be acted upon as command hallucinations for all who hear it to pick up arms and try to kill the first police officer they see.  If rap had that affect on the people who listen to it, killing the police would be the least of our concerns given the subject matter of today’s rap lyrics.  And I’ll add that using character assassination by labeling the people in the video as gang members doesn’t help the cop’s cause because after all it is called gangsta rap for a reason.

The song and the video are simply a continuation of a tradition of social commentary on the how many Blacks feel about the police.  Call it freedom of expression.

How many cops have pulled up on the side of a car in Los Angeles that was playing N.W.A., Tupac, or some other artist with less than friendly lyrics about the police?  The cops didn’t automatically come to the conclusion that the driver was going to pull out a gun and start shooting at them then, so why now?

Look, people display their dislike for the police in many different ways.  Some people choose to put on Guy Fawkes masks, go down to police headquarters and yell and scream at the top of their lungs.  Others choose to stand in the middle of the street and flip off every police officer they see. And some choose to write a rap song and shoot a video.

At the end of the day, it’s all just an expression of an attitude that is shared by many as evident on the video’s likes and comments of support on YouTube.  As far as I’m concerned it’s just another day in L.A. and you’re going to always have folks screaming fuck the police, they scream fuck a lot of other things too.  But for the most part, all they do is scream.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Johnny Rico

    I remember responding to calls during and after the riots where the person calling for help was wearing a “Fuck the Police” t-shirt. The trick was simply to stay calm and professional. We mostly pretended not to see the shirts. A lot of people went and quietly changed their shirts. Others apologized. Do not treat it like it is a big deal and it usually does not become a big deal.

  • respect your neighbot

    There already has been an attempt to kill cops. It happened the other night at the pursuit that ended at 37th and Grand. Those suspects were east coast crips, the same gang that ezell ford had ties to. Notice all the blue candels at the ford memorial. Those gang members baited officers by driving reckless and attempted to kill them with a rife equipped with a drum magazine. Why don’t people look into the mirror and ask themselves why they hate the police so much. Good people don’t fear the police. Good people appreciate the police because they protect them from criminals. Criminals come in all colors. This is not about race.

  • That was an incident involving someone that had no connection whatsoever to Ezell Ford other than the fact that he was Black.

  • Baskin Robbins

    Jasmyne, the problem with cops is that they don’t think like you. Hey: you don’t take offense at blatant misogyny or the N-word in rap music, right? So why should a cop be troubled about lyrics like “And when I’m finished it’s gonna be a bloodbath of cops, dyin’ in L.A.”? That, and “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks” are both “simply a continuation of a tradition of social commentary on how many Blacks feel.”

    That makes it a Good thang, right?

  • cutty sark

    you included the Geto Boyz on your L.A. based rap artist list. isn’t that the group which had Bushwick Bill? cause I thought they came outa Houston TX.

  • respect your neighbor

    How do you know that? Are you saying you know for a fact the incidents aren’t related. You know all of Ezell Ford’s associates? You were upset because the LA times referred to you as a blogger. If you want to be a real journalist then accept the fact that black person can actually be in the wrong. You are too smart to really believe that Ezell Ford and Michael Brown were minding their own business when cops jumped out their cars and executed them for being black.

  • mr. Joe

    You know its saddens me as a police officer that everyone jumps on a band wagon to convict the officers who were doing lawful police work, but yet since Mr Ford’s death there have been multiple murders in Los Angeles, and I’m not talking about the assaults on police officers. Innocent people in front of their homes, well where are all the protesters… Where…..

  • closet racists love to troll websites that inform the Black community and leave your my-shit-don’t-stank remarks about how if we would just obey the law, we wouldn’t be murdered by police. Ask Jean Thaxton (a white woman), mother of Michael Nida, if cops only use deadly force when absolutely necessary. Cops kill Black ppl every day and a half in this country, THIS IS AN EPIDEMIC. “Oh, but Black people kill other Black people, too.” So do white people, and at the same rate. But no one ever takes the victims of the many mass murders white people commit, and say “what’s the big deal?” Only a person with no interest in reality and history, would deny the state-sanctioned violence against Black/Brown people in this country or pretend this country wasn’t fertilized with Black ppl’s blood. Since you look at us as slaves, whose services are no longer needed, you believe all the media propaganda they use to divide poor whites from struggling Blacks. Blinded by your own ego. One love to the Ford family and to Jasmyne Cannick for her courage; sis, these agents all over your page. It aint real until it’s THEIR relatives in a pool of blood w/ savages in uniform standing over them. They’ll brutalize poor whites on a power trip or a bored day, too.

  • 1) Being “wrong” does not warrant a police officer to execute you. Plenty of white men/boys join hate groups like skin-heads and end up leaving them—do they deserve to be shot in the head or the back, unarmed? When it’s a young white boy, media probes into his childhood and talks about how he was misunderstood. But young Black men don’t have the privilege of human error. 2) Every Black person is not in a gang. The fact that you have to be informed of this shows you’re a white supremacist. Ezell Ford was diagnosed w/ a mental illness and had special needs; the Newton police knew this and they had no probable cause for stopping him. Your callous disregard for human life just because they don’t look like you will be your downfall. The universe keeps the balance. So what will be the equal and opposite reaction for white supremacists’ actions against Black/Brown people of the earth? It’s sad how your own ego and inflated sense of importance blinds you from reality. Like a white comrade told me “If you’re white and you’re not actively fighting against white supremacy, then you’re a white supremacist.” It’s one thing to benefit from white privilege, it’s a whole other thing to deny that it exists. Shame on you.

  • Lenchmob4life$

    You really need to pay attention to what you read. She never said this. Her articles, said “rap music, especially in Los Angeles….” It did not say “Rappers FROM Los Angeles. HUGE DIFFERENCE! And if you really down with the slang, then you should check yo’ self with the word “outa” that you used. It’s “outta.” Ok, [perhaps it’s just a typo]. Stop trying to kill the messenger and listen to the message. Bear witness to the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. For the record, I’m from the streets of LA and I just because a person if FROM the West Coast, doesn’t mean they are not pumping rappers from the East Coast like EPMD, Poor Righteous Teachers, Das Efx, X-Clan just to name a few. Some of their shit is banging anti-police sentiments also. Of course, it would help if you are black to know this or white and is str-8 from QB, Brooklyn or the Bronx.

  • Lenchmob4life$

    Many cops think they are above the law. They feel they are entitled to break the law. Most of them barely passed high schools so you really can’t expect too much intelligence from them. They really do expect the good law abiding ones to cover up their illegal activities and bullshit that they do. You can’t go one day without hearing or reading about a disgraced cop gone wrong. I bet if they were sleeping and a bunch of ill-advised cops shot a flash grenade into their home and it accidentally killed their child or children as they slept and they later discovered the warrant was for the wrong house, I’m sure they wouldn’t be to thrilled about this. Yeah I know, stuff like this never happens….”Think again.”