"Tempe StreetBeat" receives heat

Cop rocks town through rap.

By David Puner
Published December 5, 2006 3:18PM (EST)

Heres an AP report featuring controversial footage from an Arizona cable program called Tempe StreetBeat, which is hosted by the mustachioed officer enforcing law in front of the camera. Last August, after two men were pulled over for littering in a shopping mall parking lot, the cop offers to dismiss a ticket if the men agree to compose a rap on the spot. Civil rights groups are reportedly calling the incident an example of police insensitivity to the black community. The Mayor apologizes for the video and says its unacceptable and we look forward to doing much better. Its unclear whether hes talking about community relations or production values. Television and music producers (are not) reportedly calling Tempe StreetBeat and the rap insults to their respective industries, but they should be. Note to producers of HBOs The Wire: please dont ever move your show from Baltimore to Tempe.

David Puner

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