Oakland musician Fantastic Negrito has vowed to retire if proven guilty following what he claims was a wrongful detainment on Saturday. Fantastic Negrito is the stage name of 47 year old musician Xavier Dphrepaulezz, who won NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest. He was handcuffed and detained by police at Golden Gate Park shortly after arriving. Dphrepaulezz was scheduled to take the stage at Outside Lands, a yearly San Francisco music festival that has boasted performers such as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
I rep the bay all day! I am the hometown kid. Wrongfully accused and detained. If it is proved that I knew of this. I'll retire PROMISE!— Fantastic Negrito (@MusicNegrito) August 9, 2015
“Out of nowhere about 10 SFPD officers rush us, grab us and handcuff us and instruct us to get on the ground,” Fantastic Negrito said about the incident.
SFPD stopped Fantastic Negrito on suspicion of scalping an artist-only ticket to Outside Lands on Craigslist. SFPD later released a statement saying they were acting on a tip.
“While acting on a tip from Another Planet Entertainment, San Francisco Police Officers stopped and detained three subjects on the corner of 25th Ave and Fulton Street pertaining to someone selling non-transferable artist bands”
Fantastic Negrito told Yahoo Music that he was “bumrushed” shortly after arriving at the festival with an intern, John Beckmeyer and his driver, Alistar Monroe.
“They were really aggressive; they handcuffed us, made us get on the ground, all that routine. I’m thinking there’s some sort of mistake, and this will just take a minute to sort out and I’ll be on my way,” Fantastic Negrito said about the arrest. Dphrepaulezz, who still suffers from injuries to both arms sustained in a car accident, said that having his hands cuffed behind his back for several hours caused him significant pain.
Beckmeyer, Fantastic Negrito’s assistant, told officers that he’d acted alone in initiating the sale on Craigslist. Despite the confession, SFPD still arrested the singer and his friends.
“This intern confesses what happened, and they did not care. The SFPD were kind of a******s. Why did they treat me like an animal, a criminal, when I’d done nothing wrong?” said Dphrepaulezz.
According to Fantastic Negrito, Beckmeyer had simply made a mistake: he sold his girlfriend’s ticket because she wasn’t able to attend.
“He didn’t know he was going to be in trouble. He is a really good guy, an exceptional guy, a good intern. He just made a dumb mistake that affected all of us” Fantastic Negrito said. He later posted on Twitter saying he forgives Beckmeyer.
Promoters for the festival chose to cancel the show and remove Fantastic Negrito’s name from the website. Fantastic Negrito’s fans reacted to the news with disappointment. Many tweeted their support for the singer.
Fantastic Negrito expressed sadness that his concert was cancelled. It has not been rescheduled, but he said “I’ll do a makeup show on the steps of the police station – a free show for everybody.”
[Photo by Bob Tomlinson/Flikr]