Missouri Cop Put On Leave After Appearing In Racially Charged Rap Video

| by Karin Sun
Zackary Craft holding sign in rap videoZackary Craft holding sign in rap video

A Missouri police officer has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after he was featured in a controversial rap video.

Zackary Craft, a police officer from St. Joseph, Missouri, appeared in a J. Smitty rap video called "Before This Bomb Blows Up (Racism Goes Both Ways)," according to the NY Daily News.

J. Smitty, also known as Josh Smith, is a white suburban rapper from Kansas City, Missouri.

In the video, which was filmed in Missouri, Smith raps that "racism goes both ways" and trashes President Obama and the Rev. Jesse Jackson with obscene language. The rapper is seen in the video breaking pictures of Obama and Jackson and burning them along with images of hooded Ku Klux Klan members. He also spits on a picture of Al Sharpton.

The video also features several people holding up racially charged signs such as "a proud white man is a racist" and "a proud black man is courageous," and "I can't take a s---- without offending someone."

Craft, who is also white, can be seen in uniform in the video walking on the street, reaching for a firearm, and holding a sign that reads "Cops Lives Matter."

Smith temporarily removed the video from the Internet after Craft was put on leave, but reposted it later with the officer's face blurred out.

"I feel really bad for him," he said. "I hope this all ends well for him and that he is able to keep his job and move on."

A spokesperson for the St. Joseph Police Department, Capt. Jeff Wilson, said that the department "in no way condones the video."

Wilson did not reveal how the video came to the department's attention, or when Craft's official hearing will take place.

Craft's attorney Morgan Roach said in a statement that the officer allowed himself to be filmed "without knowing the words, content, or context" of the video and was "appalled" when he saw it.

"He wholeheartedly rejects the song, the music video, and the misguided message in its entirety," Roach said.

The Black Lives Matter movement gained significant momentum after the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In November of that year, a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, on criminal charges in the teen's death, NPR reported at the time.

WARNING: Graphic video

Sources: NY Daily News, NPR / Photo Credit: NY Daily News

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