Lawyer says Rap­per T.I. ‘wrong­fully ar­rested’ near home

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Jonathan Landrum

AT­LANTA » The rap­per T.I. was ar­rested early Wed­nes­day as he tried to en­ter his gated com­mu­nity out­side At­lanta and was charged with dis­or­derly con­duct, pub­lic drunk­en­ness and sim­ple as­sault — but the artist’s lawyer called it a wrong­ful ar­rest.

T.I. is one of the big­gest names in hip-hop, with mul­ti­ple plat­inum-sell­ing al­bums and sin­gles, pro­duc­tion cred­its and roles in films like “ATL” and “Amer­i­can Gang­ster.”

Henry County Deputy Po­lice Chief Mike Ire­land said the rap­per was ar­rested around 4:30 a.m. af­ter he got into an ar­gu­ment with a se­cu­rity guard. Me­dia re­ports say the Grammy-win­ning artist, whose real name is Clif­ford Harris, had lost his key and the guard wouldn’t let him into the com­mu­nity.

Ire­land said T.I. and a friend were ar­rested. The rap­per has been re­leased on bail.

His at­tor­ney, Steve Sadow, said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day that the rap­per was “wrong­fully ar­rested.” He said the guard was asleep when his client ar­rived at the guard­house and it took “some time to wake up the sleep­ing guard.”

Sadow said T.I. iden­ti­fied him­self and sought en­try, but the guard re­fused. The rap­per con­tacted his wife Tameka “Tiny” Cot­tle, who con­firmed that her hus­band should be al­lowed in­side the com­mu­nity.

“The guard con­tin­ued to refuse en­try with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion,” Sadow said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to T.I. as Tip. “Words were ex­changed and ap­par­ently the guard and/or a su­per­vi­sor called the po­lice. When the po­lice ar­rived, they were not in­ter­ested in hear­ing Tip’s side of the story and wrong­fully chose to end the sit­u­a­tion by ar­rest­ing Tip.”

The rap­per served about seven months in prison in 2009 af­ter his ar­rest on fed­eral gun charges.

He also spent about 10 months in fed­eral prison on a pro­ba­tion vi­o­la­tion in 2010 af­ter he was ar­rested on drug charges in Los An­ge­les. The drug ar­rest vi­o­lated his pro­ba­tion — he had been or­dered not to com­mit a crime and not to il­le­gally pos­sess any con­trolled sub­stances — and led to an 11-month prison sen­tence at an Arkansas prison.

De­spite T.I.’s ar­rest Wed­nes­day, the rap­per has stayed out of trou­ble for the past sev­eral years. He’s been ac­tive in the com­mu­nity, fo­cus­ing on youth pro­grams for boys and girls, and has said he feels his role con­tin­ues to grow in help­ing those that need as­sis­tance the most. He also is one of 38 ad­vis­ers for new At­lanta mayor Keisha Lance Bot­toms’ first 100 days in of­fice.

Last month, T.I. was among thou­sands who marched in a rally on the 50th an­niver­sary of the as­sas­si­na­tion of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The rap­per also has taken part in a past march in At­lanta against po­lice-in­volved shoot­ing deaths of African-Amer­i­cans. He has said he in­tends to fo­cus on do­ing things that “af­fect our com­mu­ni­ties in a pos­i­tive light.”

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