“Free Lil Wayne” Taggers Arrested In New Orleans


Six people were arrested by the New Orleans Police Department Monday after allegedly spray-painting graffiti on a building in the French Quarter during an apparent protest over the incarceration of several local rap artists, according to police.

Off-duty police officers saw the suspects spray-painting “Free Lil Wayne” on the side of a building in the 900 block of Conti Street around 9 p.m. and notified the NOPD, according to spokesman Janssen Valencia.

New Orleans born rap star Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter, pleaded guilty in October to attempted weapons possession and expects to receive a one-year jail sentence. He is currently out on bond.

The effort appears to have been staged by the loosely organized protest group “Reclaim the Streets,” an international movement that focuses on street-level activism.

Police reported recovering fliers at the scene campaigning the effort, though Valencia said he was unaware of whether the six men charged were affiliated with an organization.

A Web site promoting the event described it as a “street-party-as-protest,” encouraged people to wear costumes and bring party supplies and noisemakers.

The demonstration, which began at 8 p.m., was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle that was marred by violent protests, according to the Web site, which did not have contact information on individual organizers.

The men also placed a banner across Royal and Canal streets calling on authorities to release Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch, a Baton Rouge rapper who pleaded guilty in September to a marijuana possession charge and is currently in prison. The group also placed police barricades and metal garbage cans in the 100 block of Burgundy to halt traffic.

When officers arrived, the suspects fled but were apprehended nearby, Valencia said. The six subjects were charged with disturbing the peace, resisting arrest by flight and criminal damage to property.
Three of the suspects were listed as homeless, two were from Monroe and the third from Pennsylvania.

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