Rapper arrested over canned tea

By William R. Toler

A video posted on YouTube last week made its rounds across the internet Thursday featuring a man being hassled then arrested…over a can of tea.tea 300x173 Rapper arrested over canned tea

The video starts with a man identified as Xstrav (identified by LatinRapper.com as Xstravagant, real name Christopher Beatty) standing outside a car with a can of Arizona tea. The video description says Beatty and friend Tino Brown were waiting on friends before going inside the state-run ABC liquor store in Fayetteville.

Shortly after, a man walks up to Beatty asking, “What you drinkin’?” Beatty walks toward the man showing the can and says, “It’s a tea…what’s wrong with you?” The man asks if there’s any alcohol in it and Beatty turns the can around pointing out what it is, “Sweet tea-lemonade.” The man then demands that Beatty hand over the can. It wasn’t until asked that the man identified himself as “police” without showing identification.

The plainclothes “police” man then tells Beatty he has five seconds to leave the property. When Beatty asks why, the man tells him he’s trespassing and says, “You’re not going in there.” Beatty and Brown ask for the man’s badge number. He flashes something on his hip, repeats, “You’ve got five seconds to leave,” and within one second he orders Beatty to put his hands against the car while pushing him toward it.

The man then begins to apprehend Beatty telling him he’s under arrest, takes him to the ground, and adds on “resist, dealy obstruct” never informing the arrestee of his Miranda Rights. As the man with the camera questions the arrest, the “police” man threatens him with arrest for interfering with an investigation.

http://youtu.be/pbzUH90Sm0E

There had been some speculation as to the validity of the video, so another video was posted showing Beatty being loaded into a squad car. Furthermore, there is a Christopher Beatty listed by the NC Court System as being charged with misdemeanor second degree trespass and misdemeanor resisting public officer.

http://youtu.be/IXlnZbwfhXk

That officer is Rick Libero, a special agent with the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency.

This case should be dropped for a variety of reasons: 1. Libero didn’t identify himself as an leo prior to demanding what was Beatty was drinking. 2. Libero approached Beatty shortly after he got out of his car, before he could enter the store to make a purchase. 3. Libero’s demand of leaving the property in five seconds was unreasonable. 4. Libero’s second demand of leaving in five seconds was followed in one second by demand to place his hands on the car. 5. Libero pushed Beatty, unprovoked, which is assault. 6. Libero did not inform Beatty of his Miranda rights during the arrest.

The only crimes committed were by Officer Libero.

Luckilly for Beatty, the entire event was caught on camera and serves as evidence of no wrong-doing on his part. Otherwise it would have been his word against Libero’s…and we know how that would go down.

[This post originally appeared on IndieRegister.com.]

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About Will

William R. Toler is a journalist and filmmaker born and raised in the Tarheel State. He has worked in both newspapers and television since 2005, dabbled in radio and is the managing editor of IndieRegister.com

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6 Responses to “Rapper arrested over canned tea”

  1. Dave Myers May 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    It looks like the link to the court case is missing now. I wonder if the record is deleted because maybe it was summarily dismissed?

    • Dave Myers May 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Weird. Nevermind, it works now. :-P

  2. Dave Myers May 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    He is charged with 2nd Degree Trespass: § 14-159.13. Second degree trespass.
    (a) Offense. — A person commits the offense of second degree trespass if, without
    authorization, he enters or remains on premises of another:
    (1) After he has been notified not to enter or remain there by the owner,
    by a person in charge of the premises, by a lawful occupant, or by another authorized
    person; or
    (2) That are posted, in a manner reasonably likely to come to the
    attention of intruders, with notice not to enter the premises.
    (b) Classification. — Second degree trespass is a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1987, c. 700,
    s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 102; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

    And “Resisting an Officer” :

    Resisting Arrest (14-223)

    If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor …

    Classification: Class 2 Misdemeanor (6 month and/or $500)

    So basically, both of these are contingent on the validity of the Officer in questioning and then detaining illegally Christopher Beatty. He is neither an authorized person nor the owner of the property, they were outdoors in a parking lot where he was neither a nuisance nor engaging in threatening activities, and as a patron he was not notified to not enter the premises by an authorized agent of that property. You could say that the police officer works for the state and therefore is an authorized agent to issue notice to leave the property, but without reasonable cause he’s basically just hassling a customer of the ABC store, a patron and a taxpayer.

    An out of state case with some precedent, since NC law doesn’t seem to have anything codified to this effect (would have to search for more NC cases):

    In State v. Steinmann, 20 Conn. App. 599 (Conn. App. Ct. 1990), the court held that simple trespass is not a lesser included offense of any of the three degrees of criminal trespass.

    It is affirmative defenses to prosecution for criminal trespass that:

    the building involved in the offense was abandoned; or
    the premises, at the time of the entry or remaining, were open to the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
    the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or a person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him/her to enter or remain, or that s/he was licensed to do so.
    A defense of necessity may be interposed to a criminal trespass action[x]. However, there must be some evidence from which each element of such defense may be inferred before the defense may be considered by a trier of fact.

  3. David May 17, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    What is a “state run” liquor store? Aside from there being NO reason for the assault on his liberty, this is the exact reason that a growing number of leo’s are only going to be endangering themselves because you don’t just go up and threaten someone without at least identifying yourself as a criminal with a badge.

    If this were the other way around, a cop would have shot the “suspect”.

  4. Will May 18, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    The sale of liquor is controlled by the state through the Alcoholic Beverage Commission…hence ABC Store.

  5. Brett Klenk June 21, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Officer Librero explained that he “recently attended (joint) training with IRS Peace Officers”. White House representatives at the training and had “instructed us to pay careful attention to Tea Party types.”

    “It didn’t seem to make a lot of since at the time, but now I git it”

    The veteran ABC Officer stated that he “felt kinda silly ’bout what happened,” Adding “I’m happy to have that behind me, my bad”

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