Quinshon Shingles, a 28-year old man from New York City, has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a crew of NYPD officers forced him to rap before they’d let him out of handcuffs. According to the suit, they told him they wouldn’t let him go if the rhyme wasn’t “hot” enough.
Shingles told the New York Post, “I felt like they were humiliating me. They’re all caucasian officers, and I’m a black man and they had me performing for my freedom. I was really upset.”
According to the lawsuit, Shingles, his cousin, and another young man were hanging out in the cousin’s Brooklyn apartment in December 2011 when the plainclothes officers arrived demanding to search the home. The cousin, Tyriek Fortune, was suspected of a criminal offense, the nature of which was unclear in the suit. The officers were refused entry because they had no warrant, but they promised to return with one later.
However, instead of obtaining a warrant, they convinced the super of the building to provide them with keys to the apartment and they entered the home. Once inside, the officers handcuffed the three young men and performed an illegal search. That’s when the ludicrous request came.
Then, the cops allegedly decided to break for a musical interlude after learning that Shingles was an aspiring rapper.
“They said, ‘Rap something if you want to go home,’ ” Shingles said. “I was scared. I was nervous. I didn’t want to got to jail.”
Shingles said he was handcuffed on the ground and leaning against a couch when he recited lyrics from an obscenity-laced party song he penned a couple months earlier. The cops approved of the rendition and let him walk, according to the suit.
His non-rapping pals remained cuffed.
The search of the apartment did not turn up any illegal items, the suit states.
Shingles and Fortune’s mother [and primary resident of the apartment where the incident occurred], Donyale Kitchens, for illegal search and false imprisonment.
One of the officers involved in the case, David Greico, is already under investigation for illegal entries elsewhere. He is part of a team of NYPD officers who have been hit with a slew of lawsuits over illegal searches and theft according to records. The NYPD declined to comment on the case, saying the department had not yet seen the lawsuit.