Chicago rapper and songwriter Rhymefest found himself being robbed at gunpoint Saturday morning, on Chicago’s South Side. And according to the Chicago Tribune, when he tried to report his robbery to the police, Rhymefest, 39, a onetime aldermanic candidate, whose legal name is Che Smith — found himself being treated so “disgustingly” he took to Twitter to discuss how the CPD handled the incident.
You wonder we don't report crimes? The police treated me disgustingly pic.twitter.com/fY9VQrqDpz— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
According to the police report, Rhymefest was sitting in his parked car on Saturday morning. At about 7:30 a.m., an unidentified man jumped into his parked car and pointed a gun at him, demanding his wallet. Rhymefest complied, and the man fled on foot.
Rhymefest then drove straight to the Grand Crossing District police station at 7040 S. Cottage Grove, the closest station to his home, to report the robbery.
“They put a gun to my head. They demanded that I give them my wallet. I gave them my wallet. They told me they were going to shoot me.”
At least two police officers asked him to stop filming his report.
“I don’t feel comfortable because I feel like I’m being treated… when the camera goes off, you all start telling me to get out, I can’t make a report.”
Rhymefest wasn’t hurt during the incident, but was understandably “in shock” after having a gun pointed at him.
According to Rhymefest, it took half an hour before the police would even take his report, claiming that it must not have been a significant robbery since the robber hadn’t taken his cell phone.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that they had seen the video and reached out to Rhymefest to apologize.
“We are disappointed with what we’ve seen and how Mr. Smith was treated, and the chief of patrol called him personally to apologize on behalf of the department. And Superintendent Johnson has directed the chief of patrol to ensure this matter is addressed today with the district.
“On behalf of CPD, I apologize for how you were treated.”
Rhymefest said that he’d like to sit down with Superintendent Johnson and talk to him about the incident, questioning how many other people trying to report a crime have been discouraged by similar police attitudes.
“I’m not even mad, I’m f**kin’ hurt.”
Speaking to ABC 7 Chicago of the robbery, Rhymefest said that he wanted to reach out to his robber, and to other young people who might be resorting to crime.
“You don’t have to rob me. Come to me, contact me. I will help you get a job.”
He said on Twitter that he lives on the South Side “for a reason” and he works to defend the community against police brutality; to the robber, he said “you just damaged your community.”
To the young brother that put the gun to my head this morning & took my wallet. You don't know how you just damaged your community.— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
It's 730am. you just put a gun in my face for $3 in my wallet. I defend you against police brutality, I work on your behalf you robbed me— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
You don't know what you did! And who you did it to. I lived here on the southside because I thought it mattered. I'm reconsidering— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
You were gonna shoot me in the face for a wallet, I had the power to give you a job!— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
“Contact me apologize and talk to me like a brother.”
Chicago’s South Side is famous for having one of the highest crime rates in America. The neighborhood tends to suffer from poverty, lack of education, and is infested with street gangs. It’s also predominantly African-American. According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been over 60 violent crimes and over 100 property crimes in South Chicago in the past 30 days.
Rhymefest, a Grammy-winning hip hop artist, lives amidst it all because he wants to make a difference — and he’s even run for political office in the area. In 2010, according to the Chicago Reader, he ran for 20th Ward alderman on a platform of developing and rebuilding the area.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]