Despite various festivities and celebrities on hand for last week’s NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans, the event proved to be anything but a good time for R&B crooner Tank.
An investigation is underway regarding allegations by the singer of police brutality by members of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
Sources tell AllHipHop.com that the incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 17) as Tank, born Durrell Babbs and Ira Dewitt, a business associate, were leaving the House of Blues to search for his driver.
The singer, who is still reeling from the incident, admits that he got more than he bargained for when he arrived to celebrate the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans and to take in the annual celebration of NBA All-Star weekend celebration.
Recalling what happened, Babbs maintained that he offered no reason for the officers to respond aggressively to him and Dewitt.
“The most frustrating part of the entire incident is knowing that I did not do anything to pose a threat but was treated like a criminal,” said Tank, who is being represented by the Law Office of Bernard L. Charbonnet, Jr. “With a clean-cut image and a lady by my side, the law took matters into their own hands and chose to endanger my safety and those accompanying me. It’s 2008 and New Orleans is still very much in trouble beyond the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I’m a living witness.”
Sources reveal that on the night of the incident, Babbs asked a security officer for directions to Iberville, the area where the driver was parked.
While following the directions, the crooner noticed his car after turning a corner.
Babbs was stopped by a New Orleans police officer who demanded that the singer turn around and go in a different direction to get to his car.
Sensing a bit of tension while trying to understand what was happening, Babbs attempted to diffuse the situation by assuring the officer that he and Dewitt posed no threat as they were only interested in getting to the car.
The officer, who was black, said that he made himself clear and did not owe Tank or Babbs any explanation for getting to the vehicle.
Efforts to find an alternate route were interrupted as Babbs was re-approached by three white officers who questioned what he was doing.
The singer, who asked the officers to specify what they wanted, later found himself pushed up against a wall.
After a brief fracas, officers shot the Grammy-nominated singer at point blank range with a taser gun, according to sources After the tasering, the officers issued a warning to Babbs to never mess with the law in New Orleans.
The singer, who was taken to the University Hospital, was immediately brought to jail by the officers after being discharged.
He was charged with disturbing the peace, public drunkenness and resisting and obstructing an officer. Babbs encounter with the NOPD was one of two incidents that occurred during the All-Star weekend.
A reunion concert featuring Hot Boys members Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G. and Mannie Fresh was cancelled after three people were shot outside the New Orleans venue where the show was planned to be held.
According to reports, an unknown gunman opened fire on Monday (Feb. 18), hitting two 24-year-old women and a 26-year-old man who were standing on the sidewalk and began running when they heard gunshots. The victims received no life threatening injuries.
Police have no suspects nor a motive for the shooting, which occurred before Fresh, Lil Wayne, Juvenile and B.G. arrived at the venue.