Flipmode Squad rapper Busta Rhymes has garnered criticism from New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly for his silence concerning the recent slaying of one of the rapper’s bodyguards, Israel Ramirez.
Kelly, who accused Rhymes Wednesday (Feb. 15) of withholding information about the slaying, complained that the silence of several potential witnesses has held up the investigation.
Ramirez “worked for him,” Kelly said during a news conference at NYPD headquarters. “I’d think he’d be knocking on the door. If your employee’s murdered in front of you, you think you might want to talk to the police.”
Witnesses may be forced to answer questions before a grand jury, if they continue to stonewall the investigation, added Kelly, who found the situation “quite disturbing.”
“This individual was shot in front of a lot of people,” Kelly said.
Ramirez, 29, was fatally shot Feb. 5 outside a warehouse where a music video for the remix of Rhyme’s new single “Touch It,” was being filmed.
Various celebrities were present when the shooting took place, including 500 cast and crew members.
Police believe the shooting may have resulted from an argument between G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo and Ruff Ryders producer/president, Swizz Beatz.
Authorities believe the argument began inside and spilled onto the street.
Yayo was among a group of celebrities present at the video shoot and was involved in an earlier altercation with studio security.
Ramirez, who was unarmed, was a bystander who may have intervened only to protect Rhymes.
Police believe the shooter was an associate of Yayo’s, who may have even left in Yayo’s vehicle.
Busta Rhymes attended a wake last week at a Manhattan funeral home for Ramirez, who left behind a wife and three children.
According to the Associated Press, investigators are seeking a court order to obtain any video recorded inside the warehouse, believing it might help identify a suspect.