New reports by HYPEBEAST indicate that the New York Police Department has officially created a “Rap Unit” which aims to monitor crime at Hip Hop concerts and shows. The on-the-ground operations will be conducted by the department’s Enterprise Operations Unit. Sources revealed that the specialized unit will act based on a weekly list of upcoming rap shows which they will categorize based on the level of “risk” for violence or drug-related incidents. The teams plan to plant undercover investigators and officers at some of these events to garner evidence on individuals on their radar. Their first successful presence occurred at Remy Ma‘s concert at the Irving Plaza. The unit noted the presence of Jahmeek “Jah” Elliot in Ma’s entourage, a man who spent a total of six years in prison for shooting someone in 2007. Elliot is also believed to have previous gang ties along with 26 prior arrests. On their radar at the moment are rappers 50 Cent and Tekashi 6ix9ine.
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The new unit has already been heavily criticized and called the “hip-hop police.” An NYPD spokeswoman, Jessica McRoie, defended the unit and alleged it was not created to discriminate against rap: “The Enterprise Operations Unit focuses on venues or entertainers that have been connected with past acts of violence — regardless of musical genre. The primary goal of EOU is to anticipate, based on past incidents, where there is a significant likelihood of violence, and to take steps to prevent people from being hurt, or worse.”