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MC Hammer Gets the Slammer for 'Obstructing and Resisting' an Officer

The rapper was arrested in Dublin on Feb. 21 and booked into the Santa Rita Jail for obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting an officer.

Updated as 2/24/13 as of 5:25 p.m.:

Bay Area rapper and musical entrepreneur, MC Hammer was booked in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Thursday night for obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting an officer, Lieutenant Herb Walters said.

The Oakland native, who currently lives in the East Bay, was arrested by Dublin Police Services on Feb. 21 at the Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center, according to Walters.

Walters wrote, via email:

"He was booked and released from Santa Rita Jail. No alcohol or drugs were involved." 

According to Bay City News, when asked to comment on the rapper's version of the arrest, Walters wrote in an email, "We patrol the area of Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center, especially at nighttime hours. That is about all I can say for now."

MC Hammer, also known as Stanley Kirk Burrell, is best known for his 1990 hit song "U Can't Touch This" along with his trademark "puffy pants" worn on stage.

The rapper, who lives in Tracy, said on Twitter Saturday morning that a police officer tapped on his car window and asked him,  'Are you on parole or probation?'"

"It was comical to me until he pulled out his guns, blew his
whistle and yelled for help...but make no mistake, he's dangerous," he
wrote.

According to KGO-TV San Francisco, Hammer was contacted by Dublin Police for having expired registration.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Cefalu' February 25, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Lew, I hope for your sake that the information about MC Hammer you are representing as being true, is in fact true. Truth is the affirmative defenses you will need in a lawsuit against you for defamation!
Sean February 25, 2013 at 08:27 PM
The Tri-Valley is Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton. Remember that Hammer was in someone elses car that had expired tags. Do we know if the registered owner was a on Parole?
Chris Heston February 25, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Cefalu' you are close. We don't know what kind of contact the police made with Hammer. It could have been a consensual contact. Certainly there was enough to detain Hammer. Whether a subsequent search occurred before the arrest is unknown so you are hypothesizing. But the fact remains that an officer has the legal right to ask questions about anything he or she wants to during any contact. Whether it's admissible in court later is another issue. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the officer asking about probation or parole status. An officer can ask that question of anyone at any time and it's perfectly within the law.
Jess February 25, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Its my understanding that asking someone if they are on probation or parole is a standard question when being pulled over, I am a young, caucasian female and when i was pulled over in livermore a few months ago the officer asked me the same thing. maybe some people just dont remember being asked, since it is a high stress situation.
Cefalu' February 25, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Chris, I agree the police can lawfully stop anyone to chat about anything the police feel like chatting about, but the person stopped is also lawfully free to ignore the police and walk away, and that person is not considered seized during the encounter. But when the individual who has been stopped, is not free to walk away, they have been seized within the meaning of the 4th amendment. But, what makes this type of temporary seizure legal, is the manner in which it is carried out and is explained in Terry v. Ohio. The police spokesperson stated Hammer was stopped for expired registration. Thus, he was seized within the meaning of the 4th amendment and was not free to walk away and ignore the police. This was not a consensual encounter to chat which he could ignore. In my opinion, where the police failed to comply with Terry, is during the alleged police interrogation regarding Hammer being a parolee or probationer. The only conduct that the police were allowed to perform during this lawful stop was an investigation regarding the expired registration. A Terry stop is not a free fishing expedition for the police. There are limits.
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Cefalu, you bring up good points, but let me clarify the situation. First, we have to concede that we weren't there so we don't know what happened. Let's assume that since the officer had legal reason to detain Hammer, then Hammer was indeed being detained. Just because someone is legally detained, doesn't mean he has to answer every question asked of him. If the person is on probation or parole and refuses to answer, he will be in violation of his probation or parole obligations to answer that question when asked by the police. If the person is not, he has the right to politely refuse to answer the question. In this case, the officer had every right to ask that question, as normal police procedure in conducting investigations. It's how they're trained, and it's what we pay them for. We don't pay police to drive around with their blinders on doing nothing. If Hammer was not on probation or parole, he had the right to either state such or politely refuse to answer the question. The officer would have had no right to pursue legal action based on that refusal. If it was later determined that Hammer was on probation or parole, then the officer could take steps to address that violation. So again, an officer, whether detaining someone or not, has every right to ask whatever questions he wishes. The person detained can decide how he wants to respond to them and take the risk of consequences should a law be broken.
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 02:29 AM
It doesn't mean an officer can spend hours asking questions all evening. But basic officer-safety and common sense questions such as "have you ever been arrested" or "are you on probation or parole" are absolutely acceptable, expected, have been accepted by the courts, and are part of basic police procedure.
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Last night 3 of my buddies and i were driving down pine st in livermore about to make a left onto murrieta. my friend driving seen the officer close behind him so he legally switched lanes after he made that turn onto murrieta. then for no reason the cop turned on his lights so we pulled over. The officer then walked up to the car and asked the driver (who is cacasion) where we were coming from. my friend asnwered, handed the officer his registraion and license and then the officer leaned inside the vehicle and noticed my friend (who is african american) sitting in the back seat and I (who is hispanic) sitting in the front. Then the officer asked everyone in the car for their IDs and i was the only one without an ID so the officer told us to wait in the car while he talked to his partner. While we were in the car waiting i told my friends that i was pretty sure that passangers during a traffic stop are legally allowed to leave and that the officer had no reason to ask us for IDs. Then the officer returned to the car and started pulling everyone out. i was the third person to get pulled out of the car and every time an officer an officer pulls me out of the vehcle i let them know that i object to any searches or seizures of me and my property. When i told the officer this his partner Officer Harrison laughed and told me if my lawyer told me to say that and i told him no im just familiar with the law and thats a violation of my 4th amendment right. Then Officer Harrison told
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 05:26 AM
....the rookie cop to search me anyway. In the past was told that when they "legally search" you they can only pat you down for weapons for their safety and thats fine i understand that but when they searched me last night they were pulling everything out of my pockets, went through every single pocket that i was wearing and even my wallet which completely conflicts with the 4th amendment. After they violated my rights (keep in mind i was a passanger to a traffic violation which none to the officers told us we were even pulled over) i told officer harrison and the officer who searched me that i would need to get there badge number and name so i can make a complaint to the Chief about their illegal search then Officer harrison told the other officer to put me in handcuffs and put me in the back of the cop car. when the officer was cuffing me, officer harrison started telling me my miranda rights then he asked me if i knew why i was getting put in handcuffs and i told him because im getting detained and what reasoning did he have to detain me then officer harrison told me he smelt marijuana (even though the officer who pulled us over never mentioned anything about the car smelling like weed). that made me a bit angry because no one had marijuana in the car and the car is a new chrysler 200 so he never smokes in it so i told the officer he wasnt a trained K9 and that he was delusional if he smelt marijuana. so they put me in the back of the squad car and completly search my
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 05:27 AM
friends car and they didnt find a god damn thing so they let us go after an hour of interrogation. when i was watching them search the car i noticed officer harrison getting nervous because they thought without a doubt we had drugs and hey were not finding shit. i went in to the police department and got a complaint form but i feel that wouldnt resolve anything unless everyone fills those out. People feel that those complaint forms are just a waste of time but they neglect to realize thats the only way to stop officers from abusing power. if i was a 40 year old man they wouldnt have even bothered pulling everyone out of the car and that is profiling to the extreme. every officer ive come in counter with outside of livermore knows how corrupt LPD is and that is a shame. LIVERMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND OFFICERS LIKE OFFICER HARRISON OF LPD ABUSE THE LAW ON A DAILY BASIS. GET THESE CORRUPT OFFICERS OFF OUR STREETS IN THE TRI VALLEY..............also if anything i said to the officers was in correct could you please clarify so ill be prepared next time i get harassed by livermore police dept.
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 05:30 AM
**why we were pulled over
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 05:32 AM
**and after 20 min they were not finding shit
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 05:41 AM
Police have a right to detain everyone in a car on a traffic stop and anyone who disrupts, delays or obstructs the detention (as you apparently did) is subject to arrest. You're lucky you weren't arrested. People who constantly pull the race card every time anything negative happens to them are the only actual racists. Marijuana is everywhere. And it's still illegal. I'm sure the officer who stopped the car just made a random stop of law abiding citizens out for a Sunday drive in the Livermore moonlight. Give me a break. Feel free to file your complaint. 99% of complaints against police are unfounded, and most are retaliatory from people refusing to accept responsibility for their actions. The actual law abiding citizens of Livermore or any city never have such mythical stories. My advice? Obey the law, be respectful and you won't have these surreal experiences the rest of us don't have.
LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT February 26, 2013 at 06:08 AM
first off i never used the race card with them only in my comment because thats how i felt and are you saying i was delaying their illegal search by stating i object to any searches and seizures of me and my property? yeah i would (as well as my lawyer )love to be arrested for defending mine and everyone else's constitutional rights and those "surreal expierences" never happen to you because your most likely not 21(probably 40 or 50) so they dont profile and stereotype you
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 06:36 AM
My point is most people who use the race card are deflecting and trying to place blame elsewhere rather than taking responsibility for their actions. Those who bring race up to try to defend their being held accountable for actions are actually displaying their own racism. Not saying that's you. Just the general consensus. But anyway, yes I'm older than you, but I was once 21. And I had a few encounters with police in those days. Guess why? Mostly because I wasn't driving around enjoying the moonlight. Every time I've ever been detained by a police officer it's because I violated some law, or generated reasonable suspicion, even though it was later determined to be relatively minor. And when I acted like an arrogant ass, it never did me any good. When I was polite and respectful, I had no issues - ever. It's just one of those life learned type of things.
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 06:37 AM
I was once stopped for a license plate light out (a clear violation of the vehicle code). The officer was totally cool and gave me a warning. He said there had been vehicle burglary suspects in the area driving a similar car to mine. I got a great break that day, and I appreciated the officer doing his job trying to keep my cars and others from being burglarized. That's what we pay them to do. Not to hide away with blinders on afraid to to their job for fear of being persecuted, criticized, sued and scoffed at by those who have no appreciation for what they do and who would never risk their lives for them if the roles were reversed.
L NORAL February 26, 2013 at 07:43 AM
not every cop loves to [simply] screw with people, i believe this because i have known a few some a bit older and a couple of them younger ,and they do there job everyday like there asked to do, yet the dont simply get into every persons ass,every time they pull someone over ,just because they can, yet 99 percent of them do ,exactly the other, these cops love ruining people lives ,by arresting,or giving out tickets costing people HUGE amounts of money, and all the while saying to you, that there only doing there job, yeah these cops havent ever had sex they didnt have to pay for, and were treated like shit by others growing up,and now its payback time yeah 99% no more no less, and the only ones who dont see it like this, are other cops , POWER GOES TO THERE HEAD, and they love being DICKS, TOTAL FU--K-NG CREAPS
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Part 1 Chris, the rules are pretty simple. The 4th amendment grants a specific right for "the people" to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, and it shall not be violated. It is a minimum level of protection which the states cannot deprive a person of. All searches or seizures without warrants are presumptively a violation, and the burden to prove otherwise rests on the government, not the people. Any stop by the government is a seizure within the meaning of the 4th amendment where the person stopped would objectively believe he was not free to move about under his free will. The tone of voice of the police, the police displaying a weapon, etc. has been ruled to effect a seizure. The stop and chat in many circumstances could be sufficient given the totality of the circumstances.
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Part 2 An exception was made law in Terry v Ohio, ostensibly for police safety. In that case the US Supreme Court granted an exception to probable cause called reasonable suspicion. Here, if the government has reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is present which is based on specific and articulable facts, the government is allowed to stop a person for questioning. The key here is the police must have specific and articulable facts which created their OBJECTIVELY viewed reasonable suspicion. A "hunch" is inadequate. Creating probable cause such as "I smelled weed" after a detainment is the usual practice of police, but it’s unlawful, as there was no reasonable suspicion in the first place for the detainment. There is no question the stops described here violate these rules and are 1983 civil rights violations. A Terry stop also allows a pat down of the outer clothing for weapons, ONLY if the police believe the detainee is armed and dangerous. Nothing more than a pat down for weapons is allowed.
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 04:34 PM
The police regularly violate these rules, and are themselves acting unlawfully. There is no excuse for a public servant to violate the constitutional rights of those very persons who pay to be protected by them.
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Probable cause is an entirely different standard, and allows for a warrant less search or seizure. But the standard is much higher than reasonable suspicion. One of my favorite ruses by the police is to fabricate an exigent circumstances exception through their own conduct. Their logic is, only a person who acts hurriedly or tries to run or hide creates probable cause. It's an old trick, but fails to meet the requirements of the law.
Chris Heston February 26, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Incorrect. Officers can make consensual contacts anytime they want and are not obligated to state such. Again everything you're quoting does not apply to the Hammer situation. The car stop situation again we are getting one side of the story, from the person detained. So naturally it's suspect and prone to bias. If the officer smelled weed at the time of the stop he had every right to detain, remove and pat down everyone in the car. Period. And he has no obligation to inform the detainees when he smelled the weed. The contact sounds entirely lawful. What evidence do you have Cefalu that police regularly violate these rules? Based on web posts from angry suspects unwilling to take responsibility? Based on Hammer pulling the race card? Sorry but I need to see it myself before passing judgement.
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Chris, if you believe the police can pull a vehicle over for no reason you are dead wrong. They must have at a minimum, a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is present which was the whole point of Terry. You appear to be stating your personal belief's here, as I do not see where your position is based upon any points of law. Which if you were a lawyer, you would be using. See the following US Supreme Court cases which provide rules for defense of persons in their 4th amendment rights; Whren v United States (objective requirement), Tennessee v Garner (seizure), Arizona v Gant, Florida v J.L., Florida v Royer, Brendlin v California, United States v Place. The law as provided in the US Supreme Court cases noted above does not support the personal views you have expressed here.
Cefalu' February 26, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Chris, even the police understand you must have a reason to question an individual. You can read a very recent letter written by the Police Chief for the city of Oakland wherein he justifies stopping of persons for questioning. here: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/police/documents/webcontent/oak039339.pdf Police Chief Jordan clearly explains in this letter, that an investigative stop must be justified by some objective manifestation of suspected criminal activity.
Dublin Mom February 27, 2013 at 08:12 PM
I remember when a 6'2" white man I know was pulled over and the reason given was that there had been a robbery at the local liquor store. They claimed that he and the car matched the description. This man said that he was a regular customer of that store and demanded to be taken there. When the manager saw the man in custody, he got mad and said that he knew this man, and he certainly was not Black, nor was the vehicle anything like the description that he had given.
Jennifer Henson March 10, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Cefalu', it is obvious that you have a good understanding of US law. However, your implication that US citizens are better protected from their government than any other country is very unfortunate. For it is an inaccurate generalization. And, in my opinion, it weakens the impact of your otherwise interesting comments.
Cefalu' March 10, 2013 at 04:23 PM
JandR, on paper, the US looks very good for the rights of its citizens, and ties a number of other countries for first place in civil liberties. In practice, however, the US falls short of its paper promise. You could judge a country by the number of people it has rotting away in its jails. And, JandR, you would be right if that's the metric you used. The United States has the highest rate of its citizens imprisoned of any country on this planet. Evil Russia comes in at second place. Yes, the US holds the dubious distinction of first place for imprisoned persons. We imprison 715 persons per each 100,000 of our population. By comparison the prisoner rates in Canada and Europe runs closer to 100 persons for each 100,000 population. You have a 7 times greater chance of finding yourself in jail in the US than in Canada or Europe.
vicki March 14, 2013 at 02:13 AM
@ Chris - I like your detailed explanations. Thanks.
vicki March 14, 2013 at 02:57 AM
I agree with LIVERMORE POLICE IS CORRUPT. And I am a 51 yr old law abiding citizen of Livermore. The story the boy writes about above is not mythical. Sadly, it is the truth. Chris, it's not that you are wrong but you've not seen how the LPD acts towards young adults. MANY adults haven't seen it. I've seen it time and time again with my son - who is 21, who has good friends who are also law abiding citizens. The police are relentless. He has gotten pulled over & harassed MANY times. He does not smoke marijuana and is not a trouble-maker. But God-forbid him drive his (not tricked out) Honda Accord with a hat on down Portola after 10pm. He went to Luckys for me just 2 wks ago. After 30 min, I walked outside to see if he was on his way. As usual, there was a police car behind him, and ANOTHER driving up - lights lit up, the works. When I walked over (34 degrees outside), he was in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car. I introduced myself to the policeman and asked what was going on. The answer: A car of this description was involved in a robbery, just making sure. REALLY? ALL of the items in the trunk were pulled out and they were searching the inside of his car. He had already been searched. He said that it was only after I got there that the policemen started being nice to him. He also says it happens so often that he is just used to it. I asked if the police were always mean to him. He said, 'Always, mom.' He gets straight A's @ Cal State East Bay & obeys the law. Comments?
Chris Heston April 19, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Cefalu, you have enough knowledge of the law to get yourself in trouble. You read some books but misapply the sections to reality. You don't seem to have a grasp of applying your knowledge. You also take people's statements and blatantly twist them. I hope you aren't actively practicing any kind of law. I never stated nor implied that police can stop people for no reason. Where do you get this stuff? I'm talking about what an officer can do once he has detained someone. Traffic Violations occur all the time and are easily witnessed and addressed with traffic stops. Then the investigation starts. Police do their job and are paid to do such. Your claims have no basis in fact. They are the rants of someone with no practical experience in life. I'm done arguing. We'll agree to disagree, but your application of the law on these posts is generally incorrect.

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