Vic Mensa almost had a lovely day ruined when he was nearly arrested by Chicago Police officers.
The rapper, who’s always been a huge critic of the CPD, was the co-grand marshal of the Bud Billiken Day Parade, and got into it with them after he was done. At one point, Mensa returned to the parade on his motorcycle and stood near a group of protesters who held a “Convict Jason Van Dyke” banner.
Van Dyke is the Chicago officer who killed LaQuan McDonald in 2014, which Mensa wrote about in his song “16 shots.”
“You want to arrest me?” he asked police. “You want to arrest me, and I’m the grand marshal of the parade? Go ahead, arrest me.”
There also seemed to be some confusion as to where officers told Mensa he could sit on his bike.
“What’s your decision? Would you like me to move, or would you like me to stay?” he asked them.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” one of the officers replied. “You’re supposed to be at the front of the parade.”
Mensa was then asked for his driver’s license, which he presented and left shortly after that. He then gave details about the incident on Instagram and posted footage as well.
“I was the grand marshall of the Bud Billiken parade today (largest Black parade in America). It was beautiful,” he wrote. “Chicago Police Department threatened to arrest me and tow my bike because I had a group of activists carrying a ‘Convict Jason Van Dyke’ banner. Then we gave out 1000 backpacks to the kids. There’s a lot of hate, but love is the strongest ammo.”
The Roc Nation rapper then posted another video of himself singing happy birthday to a little girl and said although it happened shortly after the police incident, the success of the day wasn’t ruined.
“It’s way more about this than that incident with police earlier,” he wrote. “1000 backpack giveaway with @att less than 30 minutes after being surrounded by CPD for protesting police murder in our city. We do this so we can teach the next generation to be more equipped to dig themselves out of this hole they put us in and live with love power and self respect.”
Since Mensa left his group Kids These Days and released his debut mixtape “Innanetape” in 2013, he’s seemingly spent just as much time making music as he’s done being an activist.
He’s spoken out against police brutality numerous times, protested the Alton Sterling killing and joined Native Americans to protest a pipeline being built in Standing Rock, N.D.
Plus, Mensa started an organization called StreetMedics that trains first responders to deal with violent incidents in some of Chicago’s most crime ridden areas.
He also began a nonprofit called UniVerse, which helps young people reach their educational goals through a mentor. Both programs fall under the rapper’s SaveMoneySaveLives organization that he started earlier this year.
And next month, Van Dyke, will stand trial for the McDonald killing on Sept. 5 in Cook County, Ill. At one point, the defense said the trial should be moved because Mensa’s song “16 shots” created bias opinions on the case.