North Carolina Rapper Busted For Possession ... Of An AriZona Iced Tea

When rapper Christopher "Xstrav" Beatty waited for his friend Money Mal outside of a Fayetteville, North Carolina liquor store on April 29, he thought he'd enjoy a refreshing AriZona Iced Tea. He and Tito Brown waited at their car in the store parking lot, and Brown filmed them hanging out. Beatty's iced tea was half pink lemonade, half sweet tea, and contained no alcohol whatsoever. But the mere sight of Beatty drinking out of the can was apparently enough to motivate an undercover cop to ask questions.


Beatty was approached by the cop, who was not in uniform and did not show any identification. The cop demanded that Beatty hand over his drink, and when the rapper expressed hesitation at handing his tea to a man in plainclothes with no I.D. and no probable cause, the cop turned hostile. He ordered Beatty to leave the premises and then seemingly changed his mind, forcing him onto the ground, where he handcuffed him and forced him to lay while awaiting arrest.

Everything about the incident is bizarre: the undercover cop's total failure to properly identify himself as a member of the police force, that Beatty was arrested despite (as the footage demonstrates) trying to calmly reason with the cop, and most of all, that the rapper does not appear to have done anything wrong. Indeed, as soon as the footage was released, concerns arose that the whole incident was a strange publicity stunt. In response, more footage was released, showing Beatty's arrest, and the North Carolina state court website corroborates the story. Beatty is being charged with two misdemeanors: second degree trespass and resisting a public officer, and his court date is set for June 6.


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Elizabeth Strassner

Elizabeth, a Saint Louis native, is currently a sophomore at Columbia University where she is studying international politics, Spanish, and history. After Columbia, she intends to go to law school. Elizabeth has previously served on the editorial board of the Columbia Political Review, where she wrote a biweekly strategy column during the 2012 presidential election.

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