Recently there has been a lot of questions with many unanswered around police brutality. Growing up in the grime scene in the early 2000's did you experience any police brutality?
Yeah, I think social media and camera phones has helped out in highlighting police brutality around the world and have made more people aware of the
issues going on. But I still feel there's a long way to go in dealing with police brutality, things have got better in some ways but overall it's
a systematic problem, crime and poverty go together like rice and peas. In my eyes to be poor is a crime in its self, so it is so ironic when police
actively target the poorest areas of society with their military, over the top, aggressive style of policing.
Which for me is the recipe for police brutality, because it is as if they are dealing with animals the way they treat some people.
Growing up as a youngster it was well known among the community that a lot of police were racist towards black youth and they would call us names and get physical at times. I'm not going to lie I was out there getting up to no good, but it was the way some officers would treat us that would let me know it was personal for some of them. Back then being called a black c**t by a police officer was so normal you wouldn't even think to press charges, that's why for me police brutality isn't just physical it can be verbal and mental as well.
I remember the time I had just picked up one of my friends and was heading back to my yard, I ended up driving past a police riot van on Hoe street, I instantly got the feeling they was going turn around and follow us, it was just the way they looked at us.
In my rear view mirror I could see they was doing a u-turn so I warned my friend, but I still wasn't sure if they was coming for us so I played it cool and drove normally, there was still a few cars behind me that they had to get through first.
But in no time they had put on their lights and all the cars behind me gave way, leaving them directly behind us, it was clear they was trying to stop me.
I slowly pulled my car up on the side of the road waiting to find out why I was being stopped.
Suddenly 3 or 4 officers jumped out and opened my car door, took my keys out the ignition and then started dragging me out of my car.
I kept asking them what have I done and I tried to get them off me, but they carried on dragging me and held me up against a shop window.
At this point one officer had my left arm, one had my right arm and one was pushing me in my chest, I was still struggling with them and that's when one of them grabbed my throat and started to choke me.
I managed to get my arm free and pushed him away that's when all hell broke loose, they started screaming and shouting "he hit an officer" and wrestled me onto a shop floor. I continued struggling until one officer twisted my leg to the point i thought it was gonna break, I gave up and stopped struggling. But that did not stop one of them putting his knee on my head and using his full body weight to subdue me, while the others had my arms and legs, even though I had stopped struggling they were still screaming and shouting stop moving.
I felt violated they treated me like scum and for what reason?
I've had my fair share of run-ins with the law and find it hard to separate police brutality from racism or prejudice behaviour I feel they are all closely linked.
If you don't like or respect a person it's easy to treat them like nothing so when i see police abusing their power or neglecting peoples rights, it just proves to me there are different rules for the haves and the have nots.
Like I wonder if police drive around well to do areas in their riot vans stopping random people? No they probably don't, out of respect for the residents
that live there, but where I live that's normal procedures.
Like I said in my song "Political Music" you can get stopped and searched just for being in the wrong area.
The worst thing about it is not much has changed over the years, in America a lot of black males have been shot and killed by police and my heart goes out to them, because I feel the same racist system that is killing them would kill me in an instant, you only have to look at the Mark Duggan (RIP) incident to know if regular police had guns over here it would go down like America.
There is doing your job and abusing your authority, I do believe there are good police officers, doing their jobs, but at the same time you've got SOME institutionalised racist people, within the police force! These issues need to be tackled, and dealt with, starting from TOP! As the saying goes, 'One bad apple spoils the whole BUNCH!!!'
I will never forget, during college times, me and two b'drens went down South London sides, Elephant and Castle. We were going to check some girls, as teenagers do! I remember as we walked through the underground, we saw the police, they had a fierce looking dog, acting up!!! One of my friends saw the dog, "got shook" and quickly hit a u-turn, haha! Straight after, I knew what was coming, obviously they stopped us and asked, "Where are you going, why did you turn around as soon as you saw us, yarda yarda," I said, "We're coming from college to go check some girls and the reason why we did a 360 is, cos your dog was acting up!" Cut a long story short, they said a mugging had happened, some boys on bikes did it, so I said, "But we ain't got any bikes!!! A police man pushed me against the wall, "Don't get me ANGRY!" he said. I was weary of the police before, and this incident made me even more resentful towards some of them.
To buy the Top Dolla V Rage Ep which included "Political Music" please click here
To Buy Top Dolla's instrumental "Flexin" please click here