Four New Jersey police officers are reportedly on the verge of losing their jobs in law enforcement after appearing in controversial gay-slamming and racially-charged music videos.
According to reports, the officer receiving the most heat goes by the rap alias “Gat the Great.”
Four northern New Jersey police officers face internal affairs charges because of rap videos they appeared in while off duty. Irvington Police Director Joseph Santiago tells The Star-Ledger (http://bit.ly/13wKsEb) that Maurice Gattison, president of the city’s police union, and three other decorated officers were recently charged with conduct unbecoming a police officer. If found guilty, they could lose their jobs. Gattison is an 18-year veteran of the force who performs under the name “Gat the Great.” (My Fox Philly)
Gattison has made a name for himself by releasing a slew of hip-hop music videos.
He has appeared in numerous videos. One features Gattison rapping about drinking, using an anti-gay epithet and calling himself a “felon for life.” In one scene Gattison, clad in a fur coat, sits in a car and tells others they might have to meet a Smith & Wesson. He then briefly points his finger at the camera as though he’s firing a gun. (CBS Local)
Despite the controversial content, Gat has stood behind his music.
Gattison, 44, has downplayed the controversy, saying his use of the word “faggot” was not meant to be derogatory. “When I say the words … I never say it like intending to slander anybody. I’ve never used that term like that in my whole life,” he said. “They don’t have nothing. My career is impeccable. I do my job.” (Star-Ledger)
While the officers’ fates won’t be determined until later this month, officials have already reacted to the video.
Some city officials and critics have called for the officers to be fired. But others say Garrison’s lyrics could be protected under the First Amendment. “If they lose their jobs, that’s life,” said City Councilman David Lyons, who believes some of Gattison’s lyrics could compromise his police duties. “I think police officers need to take responsibility for their actions and they should have thought about the consequences before they took those actions.” (ABC Local Go)
Check out footage from the dicey videos: