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“I wear black and blue,” Alabama officer put on leave after posting Instagram rap video


Carol Robinson

Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

A Homewood police officer is on administrative leave while department officials investigate a rap video he posted on social media that has drawn complaints.

Cpl. Jon Newland, who works in the department’s training division, posted the video to his Instagram, which has since been deactivated. The 55-second video begins with Newland rapping, “I wear black and blue, professional gunslinger, rap singer too.”

The video ends after Newland looks directly into the camera and says, “my ways are a blaze of mysterious smoke, around your neck I flex this choke.”

The video was posted last month, well before George Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests and demands for change. President Trump earlier this week signed an executive order on police reform that bans choke holds “unless an officer’s life is at risk,” increases federal oversight of police departments and encourages departments to move toward better practices on use of force.

Homewood police spokesman Sgt. John Carr said on June 18, department officials were made aware of the video, which they said was initially posted on May 16. An internal investigation was immediately launched, and Newland put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Our preliminary investigation has revealed that the officer was off duty when the video was posted and was not representing himself as a Homewood Police officer in any official capacity,‘’ according to department’s statement issued by Carr. “The lyrics in the video are not reflective of the Homewood Police Department’s policies, procedures, standards, training, or views, as articulated in our use of force policy, which is available at www.homewoodpd.org.”


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