By most accounts, rap star and accused rapist Kodak Black does not seem to be a good dude. But after his arrest just before his scheduled performance at the music festival Rolling Loud over the weekend, Black’s Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer, Bradford Cohen, is crying foul — not only because his client was arrested once again, but also because one of the cops involved took an unauthorized photo of Black in handcuffs and leaked it to WSVN.
Reached by phone, Cohen told New Times he has identified the Miami-Dade County Police officer who took the photo and said he plans to file a formal complaint against the police department for leaking the picture. He said one of Black’s arresting officers snapped the pic but declined to name the cop.
“This dope was dumb enough to give it to the media to show he had Kodak Black in custody,” Cohen told New Times today. “I think it’s disgusting. I think it’s unprofessional. It leads me to believe there is some kind of bias here — I didn’t see any photos of Lori Loughlin or Aunt Becky behind the scenes when they got
But in response, MDPD told New Times that the department does not believe one of its own cops leaked the image.
”Based on a preliminary inquiry, it does not appear the photo in-question was taken by a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department,” spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta said.
Black’s new federal charges were unsealed this afternoon: He allegedly failed to list he was under indictment when he recently tried to buy a gun. He’s charged with making false statements to buy a firearm, according to the Associated Press.
Just obtained photo of Bill Kapri, AKA Rapper Kodak Black after he was arrested tonight. Official statement from Marshals: after an extensive investigation conducted by the US Marshals, ATF, and Miami Dade PD North Side Gang Unit, Kapri, was arrested as he arrived… pic.twitter.com/IHVzAoNStI— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) May 12, 2019
I believe I have confirmed who took the picture of @KodakBlack1k in cuffs sitting in the detectives unit at the @MiamiPD, now the question is did the officer do it for money? Still no word from MPD on whether they are investigating the action.— Bradford Cohen (@bradfordcohen) May 13, 2019
This arrest is certainly not Black’s first run-in with the law. The rapper — who was born Dieuson Octave but later legally changed his name to Bill K. Kapri — has repeatedly been busted on gun and drug charges throughout his career. Last month, he was arrested after allegedly trying to cross from Canada into the United States while carrying marijuana and a Glock 9mm handgun. He’s also charged with brutally raping a South Carolina high-school student. Like some of Black’s other problematic contemporaries (such as XXXTentacion and YNW Melly), it’s difficult to gauge how Black’s arrests have affected his notoriety.
Law enforcement agents nabbed Black once again Saturday night. He had been scheduled to play the three-day Rolling Loud, arguably the most notable rap festival in America, in Miami Gardens. But before he arrived, MDPD cops and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents intercepted him on the way to Hard Rock Stadium and arrested him on unspecified “state and federal” weapons violations. “Kodak Black was not arrested at Rolling Loud,” the festival’s organizers said in a media statement. “He was arrested on his way to the festival, and we have no knowledge of what led to the arrest since he was not on festival property.”
By 9:30 p.m., someone at MDPD had leaked a photo of the rapper handcuffed in police custody while wearing Gucci sweats and a couple of comically large necklaces.
Police leaks of this nature tend to be pretty rare — cops in other cities have gotten in trouble for leaking images to the media because some critics say the practice sometimes makes it look like officers are biased against a particular celebrity or somehow overly excited to arrest someone. In 2013, rapper Meek Mill sued the Philadelphia Police Department after cops allegedly leaked unauthorized jailhouse images of him on Instagram. (One of the cops involved later sued Mill for defamation, but a judge threw the case out after four days.)
Now, Black’s lawyer is looking into whether MDPD’s officers violated any privacy laws.
“Kodak was smiling in the photo, but, I mean, I don’t think that means he was particularly happy,” Cohen said. “He knew someone was taking a photo of him, so he grilled them.”
In the meantime, the festival’s Twitter account has been suspended after organizers told attendees to stop complaining about the numerous arrests, mishaps, and alleged safety violations that occurred over the weekend.
Jerry Iannelli is a staff writer for Miami New Times. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.