Some big names in the entertainment industry are supporting dancehall artiste Popcaan, after his arrest and conviction on assault charges in Antigua and Barbuda earlier this week.
The ‘Unruly Boss’ pleaded guilty to the charge of battery on police and obstructing a police officer. He was fined EC$1,000 (approximately J$45,409) on each count.
If the ‘Weed is my best friend’ deejay, real name Andre Sutherland, fails to pay the fine, he faces six months’ imprisonment.
Since the news broke about Popcaan’s arrest Tuesday morning, several entertainers and producers came out in his defence.
“It happens to us artistes all the time,” Mr Vegas said.
“Oftentimes when an artiste is performing a fan may run on the stage. Sometimes we allow them to stay, sometimes we let the securities take them off. The artiste was just being nice to his fans,” he added.
Mr Vegas explained that while he understands that the police were just doing their jobs, he believes the authorities went overboard, The Star reports.
“It should never have reached the level where the artiste get locked up, that is overreacting.”
Well-known music producer, Markus Myrie said that police personnel too often abuse their power and authority.
“I respect Popcaan and anyone who stands up for themselves or someone else if they are being mistreated or abused excessively by lawmen or anyone at all for that matter,” Myrie said.
The incident started early Tuesday morning as he performed at the Antigua Trades and Labour Union rally in Fort James. A number of supporters climbed onto the stage during Popcaan’s performance and a police officer began removing them.
“Yea man, a Unruly party… level… a Unruly Boss deh yah, suh yuh know unruly things affi gwan” Popcaan said over the microphone before begging the officer to be more gentle with a fan.
“Police.. tek time wid him police, mi done tell yuh nuh deal wid dem suh rough” Poppi said before he physically separated the fan from the police officer who reacted by strongly pushing the dancehall artiste.
Keona Williams, a popular publicist, said she believed the artiste getting involved was the right thing to do, The Star reports.
“The artiste recognised that excessive force was being used and did the right thing by intervening. A fan can get carried away. However, it would be immoral to ignore the manner which he was dealt with,” Williams said.
“Popcaan did the right thing by putting attention to the situation and showing his disapproval of the unnecessary violent behaviour of the security personnel,” she said