Rapper from 1990s South L.A. group says gun in video was a prop
A member of the 1990s rap group Brownside plans to turn himself in to authorities Wednesday after a video clip posted on social media to launch the band’s comeback prompted an LAPD investigation and initially caused safety concerns among officers.
Gilbert Izquierdo, who goes by the moniker Toker, said on Instagram (warning, explicit content) that rapper Klever of the group was lying low but planned to turn himself in with his attorney.
“The only reason ama have my lil bro turn himself in is so I can get him out of bail cuz I wouldn’t want 1 of these wanna b heroes 2 get trigger happy on him… right now that he’s wanted,” he wrote.
Los Angeles police Officer Liliana Preciado said the rapper had not turned himself in to detectives by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Izquierdo, one of the original members of the Chicano rap group, posted a photo of himself holding up two middle fingers along with the caption, “They’re trying their best to keep us from releasing my new [expletive]! They’re afraid of real G’s of telling it how really goes down on the streets … 2 late [expletive] cause we’re here! #BROWNSIDE”
Klever said online the handgun was a prop (warning, explicit content) and accused police of lying and trying to frame him.
The controversy stems from a 15-second clip that one of the rappers posted on Instagram and later removed. The recording, which has no sound, circulated Monday on Twitter.
The recording was taken by someone in the passenger seat of a vehicle parked behind a police cruiser. The person then flashes what appears to be a handgun before an officer exits his patrol car.
Police became aware of the video last Thursday and launched an investigation. As a precaution, patrol officers who typically drive alone rode in pairs over the weekend.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced Tuesday that the video had turned out to be a comeback attempt by the rap group, not a threat to officers.
“We don’t see a specific threat against any police officer,” Beck said. “We believe, based on interviews, that the video was made not as a precursor to an attack on a police officer, but in a manner to support the credibility of the person in the video for a rap career.”
Although the video was not a threat, police issued a warrant for Klever’s arrest, alleging he had a loaded firearm in the vehicle. Beck, who did not name the man, said he had a prior conviction for the same offense.
A “secondary suspect” thought to be involved was arrested over the weekend on an outstanding warrant related to a property crime, Beck said.
Detectives reviewed the video and identified the vehicle as well as three people who were inside filming, police said.
The rap group from South Los Angeles was formed in 1994 by the late rapper Eazy-E of N.W.A. The group released a new single, “Till the Casket Drops” this year.
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