CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Eight months after Grammy-nominated rapper DaBaby criticized the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for searching and then detaining him, prompting an internal investigation, public records show CMPD hasn't disciplined the seven officers involved.
In the meantime, court documents show prosecutors dismissed all charges against DaBaby, real name Jonathan Kirk, this summer.
While DaBaby performed at Bojangles' Coliseum in late December, CMPD officers working security said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car he arrived in and then used flashlights to spot the drugs in "plain view., which resulted in "probable cause." When his concert wrapped, police said they tried to talk to Kirk, but he refused, so they handcuffed him, "legally searched" the car and by the end of the night, cited him with possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana and resisting arrest.
Kirk later called CMPD an "unlawful police department," telling reporters police "unlawfully searched" his car arrested him.
"Y'all will see how dirty the CMPD police department just did me on the holidays in front of my daughter while I was putting on a show for my city," DaBaby said after his release that night. "The second I get out the car, 15 cops come around...shining (flashlights) into the car window, shining it all into the car window."
CMPD quickly announced an internal investigation to make sure officers followed department policies and directives, but citing state law, the agency would not release the findings of that investigation.
"The adjudication/findings of any internal affairs investigation is protected under the state's personnel statute," CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano said.
WCNC Charlotte requested the names of all officers involved and then requested their personnel files, which suggest CMPD found no wrongdoing. Those records show the police department hasn't disciplined any of the seven officers involved in his December search and subsequent detention.
While officers initially arrested DaBaby, they ultimately released him with the two misdemeanor citations. Court records show prosecutors dismissed those charges in June, citing insufficient evidence "to prove that the defendant's conduct was more than mere questioning or remonstrating." Court records also show prosecutors couldn't prove beyond a reasonable double that Kirk's conduct "actually interfered with, hindered or delayed the officer's performance of the official duty."
Just a week later, DaBaby sat on a panel alongside Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Sheriff Garry McFadden and Judge Elizabeth Trosch in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, talking about systemic racism and how he often feels targeted.
"I know that in mind every time I got a show in Charlotte, I'm going to jail," he said on June 19.
We've made multiple attempts to reach DaBaby and his attorney, but have not yet heard back.