Despite admissions from his own officers, Miami
Police Chief John Timoney has denied allegations that local police officers
have the Hip-Hop industry under surveillance when in the city.
"Under no circumstances will I tolerate
people going out and taking surveillance of artists who are coming to this community,"
Timoney said at a press conference yesterday (March 16). "We’ve never followed
rappers, we’ve never taken pictures of them at airports. We don’t allow that.
The whole thing is a fraud."
Still, Timoney admitted that Miami police officers
traveled to New York for training about the Hip-Hop industry and received a
binder with some rappers criminal records and photos, after the deaths of the
Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur.
Reporter Evelyn McDonald stood by the story,
saying "Nicole [White] and I stand by our story. If the chief would like
to talk to us, about how the reporting was done, we would be happy to talk with
him, but obviously he was not interested in talking to us."
Sgt. Manny Tapanes, was quoted as saying "a
lot if not most rappers belong to some sort of gang. We keep track of their
arrests and associates"
Police spokesman Robert Hernandez claimed the
officers words were taken out of context.
Timoney was named First Deputy Commissioner of the New York Police Department in 1995, becoming the second highest ranking law enforcement officer.
In 1998, Timoney was appointed Police Chief in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was caught in controversy when locals activists
claimed that State police undercover agents posing as demonstrators, infiltrated
groups planning protests at the Republican National Convention, tactics which
the ACLU condemned.
As Police Chief in Miami, Timoney was at the
center of controversy when officers were accused of using excessive force on
activists during the Free Trade Area of the Americas protests.
Local leaders called for Timoney’s resignation.