Highland Park, Michigan police held a press conference on Thursday afternoon in which the chief of police Chester Logan played video of the confrontation and eventual arrest of Kenny Dixon Jr., better known in the musical world as DJ, producer and Detroit legend Moodymann.
The press conference was streamed on Facebook and can be viewed here:
Logan confirmed the essential details as understood from Moodymann’s initial video, which showed a ring of armed police officers pointing weapons at Moodymann while screaming for him to “unlock the fucking door.”
Logan also confirmed that the incident took place on property owned by Dixon, who was at the time sitting in a van.
“I see some problems on both sides,” Logan stated.
Wednesday night, when the video began to go viral, 5 Mag reached out to the Highland Park police and only with difficulty were able to obtain any information about the incident. When told that it was subject to a video posted by “a well-known musician,” the officer expressed surprise.
“We got a lot of media inquir[ies] about this,” Logan stated at the press conference.
Earlier today, a police spokesman stated that officers were investigating an anonymous tip about scrap metal scavengers when the incident with Moodymann occurred. Nothing about scrap metal or scrappers was mentioned in the streamed press conference.
In his prologue to the video, Logan stated that two squad cars were nearby carrying out a traffic stop when they saw Moodyman’s van and approached. A voice over the radio suggests there may be a “gun in the car.”
Moodymann’s voice is muffled in the stream but in answer to the officers he clearly states he owns the property and was doing some work on it. The officer with the body cam asks him to step out of the car and speak with his superior. Moodymann asks why another officer is “holding handcuffs.” He says he’s “done nothing criminal” and is “on my property.” He refuses to get out of the car at which point a second officer tells him that he’s either going to get out of the car on his own “or we’re going to take you out.” Moodymann is seen holding his camera up, which suggests there is additional footage on his phone that we haven’t seen.
“Let me explain something –” Moodymann says. The officer answers that he’s being “hostile. We’re going to take your window out” and threatens him with jail.
Within 10 seconds, the police demeanor escalates further and Moodymann — still explaining in a low voice that he “needs to explain something” — is being shouted at and the body cam footage begins to coincide with what Moodyman’s own (now viral) video showed:
Incredibly, the officer with the body cam correctly points out at this juncture that the door had been unlocked the entire time officers were pointing rifles at Moodymann’s head.
“You guys scared the shit out of me!” Moodymann said after being pulled out of the car, cuffed and frisked. “This was the only guy who came to me who was approachable,” he says, referring to the officer who made the initial contact. “We were having a conversation when you guys came up… My man would have got everything out of me.”
The entire incident appears to take less than five minutes and seemed to escalate in less than one. Police issued several citations to Moodymann, and stated he had a (legally owned) gun in the car which he didn’t declare.
Logan stated that the video would show the public “the other side” of the story, but if anything it shows a man sitting in a van on his own property being threatened and nearly shot in the head for suspicion of scrap metal theft.
An investigation by Highland Park police is underway.
On Thursday Moodymann posted the following photo.