CHARLOTTE, NC – Grammy-nominated rapper DaBaby was handcuffed and cited on a misdemeanor marijuana charge in North Carolina hours after he performed a concert and gave away toys to children.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police issued citations to the rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, on counts of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and resisting an officer Monday night, according to a police statement.
The police statement said officers working outside the concert venue, Bojangles Arena, noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the van that brought Kirk there. Officers say they approached the vehicle and could see marijuana in plain view through the windows by using their flashlights.
The police statement said the marijuana in plain view gave them probable cause to take further action. Officers said they waited until after the concert and approached Kirk as he was exiting the venue around 11 p.m., but he walked away and refused to speak to them.
“Officers stated they detained Kirk in handcuffs and indicated they legally searched the vehicle,” the news release said. “Officers stated they located marijuana in the vehicle and Kirk was transported to another location for the safety and security of Kirk and the officers.”
Officers, who said they found less than a half-ounce (14 grams) of marijuana, took him to the sheriff's department but decided ultimately to issue him citations and let him leave in lieu of making an arrest.
Kirk told reporters he believes officers unlawfully searched his car while he was on stage . Video obtained by WCNC-TV reportedly shows the rapper being detained in the parking lot. He says officers target him every time he comes to Charlotte.
“They follow me, they pull us over for no reason, they search our cars,” Kirk said.
The department said it has launched an internal affairs investigation to determine whether officers followed all department procedures.
Before the concert, Kirk gave toys to underprivileged children in Charlotte.