BBC News

Drill music video stop and search by armed police 'embarrassing'

By Kameron Virk
Newsbeat reporter

Related Topics
  • London violence
media captionThe group was said to be between the ages of 16 and 19

Armed police have stopped the filming of a drill music video to carry out a stop and search.

The Metropolitan Police says it was called to London Fields in east London after reports of a firearm being seen.

Part of the stop and search was filmed, with a group said to be aged between 16 and 19 told to put their hands above their heads by police holding guns.

The Met described the searches as "satisfactory" and said there were no arrests.

Pacman, the person who was filming the video - who didn't want to be identified by his real name - labelled the incident "embarrassing" and "degrading".

The 25-year-old told Newsbeat he was filming a video for drill artist Balistik, but had only managed to get one shot before being approached by armed police.

Pacman says that they spotted a police helicopter circling overhead, but at first didn't take any notice.

"When you see a chopper you associate it with a high profile chase, or a high profile criminal - someone they're tracking down. That sort of thing.

"To my surprise it was actually there for the kids I was filming for."

The group, who were wearing balaclavas which Pacman describes as "props", were told to turn around and put their hands on their heads.

"One of them (the police) even came over to me and said 'Put the camera down mate, go and join your effing friends'," Pacman says.

"I said to him 'Hold on, I'm a company director - I'm here hired on a job."

Pacman, who hadn't obtained permission from Hackney Council to film in the park, alleges multiple people approached the police to accuse them of racially profiling the group during the search.

"Another white lady came over and started screaming, saying 'What the hell are you guys doing? You always do this to my son's friends as well!'."

  • How a drill music video foreshadowed murder
  • YouTube deletes half of 'violent' music videos
  • Gang members banned from making drill music
  • Drill music 'reflects experience'

The Metropolitan Police says it was responding to a report of a firearm and were supported by the National Police Air Service.

Pacman says there was "no use of any sort of weapon, or any replica of any weapon" in the video shoot.

He says the only scene they filmed was "one of the young guys rapping in front of a cage, with some of the kids playing basketball in the background.

"It was at that point the police stormed in," he says.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Drill music has been linked to violence in the capital by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

YouTube deleted content which she says glamorises violence at Ms Dick's request.

Pacman, who's shot videos for Lady Leshurr and Paigey Cakey, as well as prominent drill acts like Loski, says he doesn't see the link between the music and violence.

"When you're making music you can't be in two places at once - you can't be touring or in the studio and out committing crime as well," he says.

"The only side of drill music I'd say possibly incites violence would be diss tracks, and that's like anything in life. If you diss somebody on social media, if you diss somebody in real life, if you diss them through music - it's gonna cause problems."

People in the video's comments are divided.

Many say that people can't wear balaclavas in public places and expect not to be stopped by the police - while others have said that the police profiled the group.

Pacman thinks that they should have been treated as though they were shooting a film - and that the Met's response was out of proportion.

"For them to bring the police helicopter, so many armed police and aim at these kids when nothing's happened? That's where the problem lies.

"If they were normal officers who came over and didn't aim any firearms at them and spoke to them with reason, and explained what was happening in a way that everyone could understand, it would've been fine.

"But the way that it was handled was all wrong."

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.

Related Topics

More on this story

  • YouTube deletes half of 'violent' music videos

  • Drill: Is it right to blame the music genre for violence?