Rapper DaBaby wrapped up the biggest year of his career with a Christmas toy drive and concert in his hometown of Charlotte on Monday, only to be given two citations by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) for possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.
DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, arrived at Bojangles’ Coliseum just before 9 p.m. for a concert that was meant to make up for a show that he missed on Dec. 5. His company Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, along with local radio station Power 98, hosted a toy drive that afternoon, giving 200 toys to area children.
According to CMPD, Kirk arrived in a white Dodge Charger, and that’s when officers said they smelled “a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car.”
Video from DaBaby’s Instagram account showed officers looking into the car with their flashlights while Kirk was inside performing. According to a statement from CMPD, “Officers approached the white Dodge Charger and indicated they observed marijuana in plain view inside the Dodge Charger while utilizing their flashlights.”
Officers confronted Kirk about the marijuana when he exited the arena, and when they did so just before 11 p.m., Kirk walked away and refused to speak with officers, according to CMPD. That’s when officers put Kirk in handcuffs and moved him elsewhere “for the safety and security of Kirk and officers,” according to the statement. They searched his vehicle and seized the marijuana.
Kirk has said publicly that he and his video team have footage of him “doing everything but resisting arrest” and promised to make that video public.
Police brought Kirk to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and issued two citations, one for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and another for restricting, obstructing and delaying officers carrying out an investigation.
Kirk stated on an Instagram Live video that he was “illegally searched, illegally arrested and illegally released,” saying that the police suddenly let him out the same door that he came in.
According to CMPD, “officers decided that in lieu of arresting him, they would issue two N.C. uniform citations … Officers stated that they offered to drive Kirk anywhere he wanted to go; however, he did not want a ride and walked out of jail with his two citations.”
CMPD has launched an internal investigation into whether officers followed all department policies and directives during the incident.
Upon his release, Kirk ran into a slew of television reporters who asked if he feels harassed by police when he performs in his hometown. He responded, “Absolutely. Every time I do a show here … Every time. It’s nobody when I pull up in the parking lot, the second I get out the car, 15 cops come around.”
He then used one of the reporters’ microphones to mimic a flashlight as if he were shining it into the window of a car. “They follow me, they pull us over for no reason, they search our cars, they do everything. They treat us like animals. We’re just putting on for the city.”
In October, DaBaby became the first Charlotte musician to top the Billboard Top 100 chart with his sophomore LP Kirk.