At least 10 Sierra Leone Police officers attached to the Operations Support Division allegedly handcuffed and pinned down a famed rapper in their custody last week, and forcefully shaved off his dreadlocks that he’s grown for several years, a source with knowledge of the rapper’s situation said late Sunday.
The source won’t be named for their safety, and especially that police have effected several arrests of people publicly inquiring and/or advocating for the rapper’s welfare.
The alleged assault on rapper King Boss La, commonly LAJ, reportedly occurred around 2-3 a.m. local time, Wednesday, June 15, at the OSD’s headquarters in the capital Freetown, the source said.
OSD is mainly responsible for riotous crowd control, and police say they’re investigating LAJ for alleged robbery.
Police have also acknowledged that they’ve indeed shaved off the rapper’s hair, as is the case with any male detainee in custody in that particular section of the police.
But the circumstances and methodology of shaving LAJ’s hair wasn’t communicated by police.
“First, it was three OSD guys. And another seven came later … and they had to handcuff him from the back, pressed his back to the ground, and forcefully cut off his hair. And then gave him a red liquid injection,” the source said.
This information, the source said, was obtained from LAJ himself, after he was taken to the Criminal Investigations Department for a statement in the afternoon of that same Wednesday.
Once word got out that LAJ was at CID, his attorney was immediately alerted, and he rushed there to meet with him.
And LAJ’s elder brother was also present at CID at the time.
In fact, the source said, the brother was seen crying after he saw LAJ, born Alhaji Amadu Bah, with no hair.
And it was at that CID visit, according to the source, that LAJ alleged being maltreated at the OSD’s jail cell where he’s currently being locked up.
But Director of OSD Assistant Inspector General of Police Francis Moses Tower, denied the allegations.
“I’m not aware about that. That’s not possible,” AIG Tower tells TV-News24 over the phone early Monday.
Tower then directed TV-News24 to Assistant Commissioner of Police Brima Kamara – the Sierra Leone Police national spokesperson.
AIG Tower was then informed that ACP Kamara didn’t respond – to a call for comment.
The AIG said he was on an operation at the court; but will call ACP Kamara – the police spokesman, commonly referred to as Media 1.
Meanwhile, and since his detainment, arrest and jailing, police – via a senior police officer – have now given orders that family members bringing food to LAJ should be allowed at the OSD headquarter, TV-News24 was told.
And the rapper’s fiancé did just that Sunday morning, when she prepared breakfast for him.
“Because [the boss] told them since yesterday that any family member that arrives with food, they should allow the food inside,” the fiancé says.
She says she prepared: eggs, salad, ‘Kebe’, orange juice, and took along with her about 12 small water bottles – for LAJ at OSD headquarter.
And handed the food to the OSD officers, who then instructed for her to taste it – after which, they took it away to be given to LAJ.
And she says she didn’t stay there for too long.
”A couple of minutes. It wasn’t long. I just took the food inside, and then I tasted the food, and then they took the food in. You know, they took the food to him,” she says.
Police allowing family members to take food to LAJ, according to the fiancé, doesn’t mean the family could see LAJ.
As she wasn’t allowed to see the rapper when she requested to do so.
She said she was told one of the bosses – who could’ve given a definitive answer to her request – wasn’t around.
”Actually, I wasn’t able to see him today. Only that, since he was arrested, we’ve been struggling to get food to him. But today, the pressure appeared to be minimal, and I was able to get food to him without any issues,” the fiancé said.
LAJ’s father and attorney, Madieu Sesay, were also denied access to see the rapper Sunday, the fiancé says.
She intimated that they are worried about LAJ’s safety.
“As of now, we have no access to see him. So, we don’t even know if he’s OK, or he’s not OK. We just wanna see him, that’s all … we’re worried,” she says.
“The only thing I can say, I think, of course, cutting off somebody’s hair, like beat him and injected, and all; I can’t say he’s OK. That I can tell for sure. He’s not OK. Because if he’s OK, they would’ve given us access to see him.”
The source that spoke to TV-News24 about the 10 police officers allegedly handcuffing and pinning LAJ to the ground, on his back, said: the reported handcuffing, cutting off the hair, and administering the injection on him was all done almost simultaneously.