Killer Mike was escorted out of the 2024 Grammys in handcuffs on Sunday, hours after winning three awards in the pre-show telecast.
The Atlanta rapper, 48, was seen being detained by authorities in video captured by The Hollywood Reporter writer Chris Gardner and shared on Twitter (now known as X). As Killer Mike was walking out of the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, an onlooker could be heard in the video saying “Free Mike.”
It is unclear if Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, has been booked or charged. TMZ reported that the incident occurred after an “alleged physical confrontation. Gardner reported that a police official said the music maker may be “released later from the arena.”
PEOPLE reached out to the rapper’s representative for comment.
A public information officer from the Los Angeles Police Department would not confirm Killer Mike’s identity but told PEOPLE that just after 4 p.m., a male was detained for his involvement in a physical altercation. “At this time the individual is being questioned by the police and the investigation is ongoing,” the representative said.
Killer Mike has been in the industry for over two decades, after making his recording debut on Outkast’s 2000 album Stankonia.
On Sunday, he nearly swept all four rap categories, winning three awards — best rap song and best rap performance for “Scientist & Engineers,” and best rap album for Michael.
“It feels absolutely grand,” he told the press after his win. “If it feels like some people are reaching the finish line first, don’t worry. Just keep running your race. The only thing stopping you is your imagination. It’s our responsibility to be grand in every action.”
While speaking to GQ in December, Killer Mike spoke candidly about the “attacks” that are facing hip-hop.
“Well hip-hop is low-hanging fruit. It’s very easy to criticize. So when I say attack, I mean it’s being under-appreciated, even by those who are my age who were there as it grew,” he said. “We take it for granted. We don’t hold it in its highest regard. We talk down on it instead of understanding it’s going to grow, maybe, into something we don’t recognize.”
“I think hip-hop is low-hanging fruit for people who hold or aspire towards some type of leadership position because it’s much easier to try to hold a rapper accountable for the soils of society than to say our educational school system is broken, but we don’t know how to fix it,” continued the Atlanta-born artist.
The rapper has also served as an activist for his community. When riots began to emerge following the killing of George Floyd, he gave a tearful address urging rioters to not destroy their own city in May 2020.
“It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize. It is time to beat up prosecutors you don’t like at the voting booth. It is time to hold mayoral offices accountable, chiefs and deputy chiefs. Atlanta is not perfect, but we’re a lot better than we ever were, and we’re a lot better than cities are,” he said.
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