News: Dr. Dre Smokes Out Illegal Secret Police Tape Case

Monday, Mar 21, 2011 9:00AM

Written by Biz Jones

Renowned hip-hop producer Dr. Dre has won a Michigan privacy lawsuit involving a former police commander who claimed he was illegally recorded in a retail 2000 "Up In Smoke" tour DVD.

According to reports, Michigan state officials sided with the Doc this past weekend.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of rapper Dr. Dre in a case involving a very important legal principle -- whether the police have a right to privacy while performing their duties. The state high court said no. The court, in a 6-1 ruling, dismissed the suit, saying that there is no right to privacy for police while on the job. The implications of this ruling are far more important than they may seem initially because it explicitly makes it legal in the state of Michigan to record the police while they perform their duties. (Michigan Messenger)

The footage reportedly showed police backstage at one of Dre's shows.

During a 2000 concert, the officers went backstage and told organizers power would be shut off if they showed a sexually explicit video. That confrontation was recorded and included in a popular DVD highlighting the "Up in Smoke" national concert tour that also featured rappers Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. The officers filed the lawsuit, citing a privacy violation. (Associated Press)

The suit was formally filed by an ex-police official.

Former police commander Gary Brown and other Detroit, Michigan city officials filed suit against Dr. Dre, real name Andre Young, claiming they were filmed as they banned organisers from showing a video featuring naked women and violence at a concert at the Joe Louis Arena. Brown alleged he was secretly taped during the backstage conversation, despite state laws in Michigan which protect people from being recorded without their knowledge. Brown maintained his privacy was violated by the footage, which later ended up in a DVD film about the tour, but Dr. Dre's attorney Herschel Fink argued there is no privacy for police while they are performing their public duties. (Toronto Sun)

Following the court's decision, Brown shared a post-announcement reaction.

Fink said Saturday that the court's decision was more narrow than he expected, with the ruling dealing only with the event instead of broader privacy issues, but "as I said in an e-mail to Dre, 'We'll take it.'" Brown said Saturday that he was disappointed but respects the court's decision. He said he understood that the case hinged on his expectation of privacy, but that he asked for a private discussion and to have the cameras turned off. "I would think I would have my rights protected, but that's not the way the court ruled," he said. (CBS News)

Check out some recent Dr. Dre footage down below:

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