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The rapper Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, was arrested Feb. 4 on a misdemeanor battery charge after an altercation in or near the arena where the Grammy Awards were held, Los Angeles police said in a statement.
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Killer Mike took home three trophies from the Feb. 4 Grammy Awards, but the rapper’s evening ended with him in handcuffs, as police led him away from the Crypto.com Arena.
The rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, won best rap album for his album "Michael," and best rap song and best rap performance for "Scientists and Engineers." Soon after Killer Mike accepted his trophies in a pre-show ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter shared a video on X of him being escorted from the building.
Theories about Killer Mike’s arrest proliferated on social media, with posts claiming it was because he wouldn’t endorse President Joe Biden for reelection in a Feb. 2 appearance on HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher."
"Killer Mike arrested at Grammys after statements about Biden," read sticker text of a Feb. 5 TikTok video that shared a clip of the Maher interview.
In the Maher interview, Killer Mike declined to endorse a candidate in this year’s presidential election and urged people to vote for the candidate who supports their policies. Maher asked, "You can’t get yourself to vote for Biden over Trump?"
Killer Mike responded, "Can he get himself to apologize for the crime bill?" The rapper appeared to be referring to a 1994 bill Biden supported when he was a senator that critics often blame for causing mass incarceration. The rapper suggested Biden create a board composed of people affected by drug laws to advise him on how to fix federal prisons. "If he can do that, absolutely I can. So, my challenge is out there."
Maher and Killer Mike continued to spar over the election in the show’s "Overtime" segment.
We found no evidence such as police statements or credible news reports that Killer’s Mike’s comments about Biden had anything to do with the rapper’s arrest. The Los Angeles Police Department said he was charged with battery for a "physical altercation."
The Los Angeles Police Department’s media relations division posted on X that a man was arrested about 4 p.m. local time after the altercation at the 700 block of Chick Hearn Court, which is inside or near the arena hosting the Grammy Awards.
A follow-up Los Angeles Police Department post identified the man as Michael Render, 48, and said he was booked for misdemeanor battery and was being prepared for release about 8:30 p.m. local time. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s records confirm Render was released on his own recognizance shortly after he was booked, and has a Feb. 29 court date set. He could face a $2,000 fine and/or up to six months in county jail, according to California’s penal code.
Police haven’t released details of the altercation. The celebrity website TMZ cited unnamed law enforcement sources who said the altercation was with a security guard, but PolitiFact was unable to independently verify that information.
We rate the claim that Killer Mike was arrested at the Grammy Awards because he declined to endorse Biden Pants on Fire!
X post sharing Bill Maher, Killer Mike interview, Feb. 2, 2024
Real Time with Bill Maher, Overtime: Killer Mike, Jessica Tarlov, Gov. Chris Sununu, Feb. 2, 2024
Los Angeles Police Department media relations division, X post, Feb. 4, 2024
Los Angeles Police Department media relations division, phone interview, Feb. 5, 2024
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office inmate locator, accessed Feb. 5, 2024
The Hollywood Reporter, X post, Feb. 4, 2024
FindLaw, California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 243, accessed Feb. 5, 2024
TMZ, Vid Shows Security Face-Off, Feb. 4, 2024
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