video shows police harassing legendary house producer

January 17, 2019
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In the latest example that Living While Black can happen as easily to famous people at home, as to men waiting on a business meeting in a Starbucks or a college student eating lunch on campus, legendary Detroit house music producer/DJ Kenny “Moodymann” Dixon, Jr. was harassed and arrested by members of the Highland Park, MI police department, while sitting in his car on his own property, according to a social media video.

On Wednesday afternoon, Dixon posted a livestream of the confrontation to his Instagram page (since deleted, but reposted by user ladynamedtracie – below), and reviewed what happened: “HP police came n (MY BACKYARD) demanding proof of ownership and this is how they reacted…charged me 4 Breaking and entering on my own property even though I had keys.”

The video shows police pointing a gun at Dixon, inside his own vehicle, barking for him to “Unlock the fucking door NOW,” as Dixon answers affirmatively. The video clearly identifies a uniform emblem of the Highland Park Police Department worn by one of the officers. In the post, Dixon added that he “Went 2 jail again,” presumably following the confrontation.

And if the incident could be even more disturbing, Dixon writes that “what u can’t c is 9 other officers pointing there [sic] AR15 directly at my head.” There’s an exasperation to Dixon’s voice in the video, as he engages the officers who surround the car. It’s a sadness and exhaustion also clearly evident in the last lines of KDJ’s post “…next time just pull the MF trigger let’s get this shit over with (I’m tired) I’m so tired.”

Moodymann is among the dons of Black electronic music, one of contemporary Detroit’s music foremost global ambassadors, and a next-level DJ of all manners of dance music, whose fame has been elevated by the laid-back speaking style he often exhibits during his DJ sets. (You may recognize him from that one drop on Drake’s “Passionfruit,” but samples of KDJ’s voice have become a meme on house records over the past decade.) Importantly, Dixon is also known for being outspoken about the importance of Black tradition in dance music and for his continued devotion of DJing with vinyl records.

Highland Park is a city within metro Detroit, completely surrounded by Detroit on all sides. According to the Detroit Metro-Times, Highland Park police have not yet commented on the incident. In the 1930s, Highland Park was known as one of the epicenters of The Black Legion, a Ku Klux Klan-like white supremacist militia whose widespread membership is, according to the FBI, said to have included Detroit’s own police chief at the time.