One of the two
men stopped for littering in Tempe, Arizona and then asked to rap about the incident
for a local television show is suing the city for $500,000, claiming the segment
has done irreparable harm to his reputation. Louis
Baker and Robert Tarvain are the two African-American men who were stopped by
police sergeant Chuck Schoville last August in a shopping district in Tempe, when
he witnessed one of the men throw garbage out of his window. Sgt.
Schoville, who hosted a monthly local police show called Tempe Street Beat,
claims the men identified themselves as music industry professionals from
said he asked the men to rap to build relationships with the local community and
that the men had previously agreed to pick up the items they had thrown out the
who was shown rapping at Schoville’s request, claims the publicity surrounding
the incident has left him emotionally disturbed and has caused him to stutter.
Baker has been subject to ridicule by his co-workers and strangers, requesting
him to ‘rap’ when he leaves his home to go to the grocery store, restaurants or
just drive or walk in the community," Baker’s attorney Howard Schwartz wrote.
"Because of the general public’s behavior towards Mr. Baker, he has been
portrayed as a clown, which has caused him to become emotionally disturbed, reclusive
is suing the city and the Tempe Police Department for intentional tort, emotional
impairment and mental impairment. The
episode featuring Baker rapping was aired over 20 times during Nov. 2006. The
Tempe Police Department has since pulled the plug on the show, which aired for
over 5 years, due to the controversy.