LAPD arrests man they say flashed gun in rap promo video
A man who was arrested after police say he flashed a gun while filming a Los Angeles police officer for his rap group’s promotional video was released on bail early Thursday and apparently was back in the studio recording new music.
Alex Izquierdo, 35, was arrested about 3:10 p.m. Wednesday in Hawthorne on a warrant for having a loaded firearm in the car and having a prior conviction for a similar offense, LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado said. He was released from custody after posting $200,000 bond.
Izquierdo was identified by another member of his 1990s Chicano group Brownside as “Klever.”
Gilbert Izquierdo, an original member of the rap group, posted on Instagram that Alex Izquierdo is his younger brother. He said they were back in the studio recording music to “finish up on the drama we started.”
Alex Izquierdo was convicted in 1999 of carrying a concealed firearm and disturbing the peace in 2007, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
The 15-second video clip initially prompted concern from Los Angeles Police Department officials, who worried that it was a threat against officers and alerted the rank and file. But on Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said detectives conducted interviews that led them to believe the video was made as part of a comeback attempt by the rap group — not as a threat to police.
Taken from a vehicle parked behind a black-and-white police cruiser in downtown L.A., the clip opens with a view of the patrol car, its driver’s-side door open. The camera then flashes down to show someone holding what Beck said was a revolver.
The person then shows the gun off for the camera before the video cuts back to the patrol car as an officer gets out and walks away.
After the LAPD learned of the video late last week, the department’s elite robbery-homicide detectives launched an investigation and identified three people who were inside the car at the time the video was taken.
Beck said one person, a “secondary suspect,” was arrested over the weekend on an outstanding warrant for a property crime. Police later searched Izquierdo’s home in Downey and obtained a warrant for his arrest.
“We believe, based on interviews that we’ve done, that this individual was trying to promote his career as a rap artist and wanted to gain some type of street credibility by displaying this video,” Beck said. “Nevertheless, he committed a crime.”
On Wednesday, the president of the union that represents rank-and-file officers said Beck had “all but dismissed the violent, anti-police nature of the images.”
“The very fact that this could have been created to bring ‘street cred’ to a rap group shows the prevalence of the anti-police narrative being communicated by some in our society,” Craig Lally said in a statement. “Rather than dismiss this as ‘not a precursor to an attack,’ we call on Chief Beck to strongly condemn the content and makers of the video.”
An attorney for two officers who fatally shot a man over the weekend said the officers feared they were being shot at after seeing the video during roll-call meetings. Gary Fullerton said his clients also had been warned about potential ambush attacks.
The officers opened fire on the man, whose name has not been released, after police say he threw a beer bottle through their patrol car window.
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