Fact Check

Was Killer Mike Arrested at the Grammys for His Political Views?

The rapper had just won three Grammys that night.

Published Feb 6, 2024

 (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)
Image Via Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Claim:
Rapper Killer Mike was arrested by police at the Grammys in February 2024 because he refused to endorse Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race.
Context

Rapper Killer Mike was indeed arrested by the police, but not for his political views. He was booked on a misdemeanor battery charge.

On Feb. 4, 2024, rapper Killer Mike — real name Michael Render — won three Grammy awards, but a video of him being taken in handcuffs by police went viral a short time later. A post on X claimed the rapper had been arrested because of his refusal to support U.S. President Joe Biden against former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

The post shared a Feb. 2, 2024, interview Render did on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" in which he said, "Pick your policies, not your person." When asked by Maher about whether he would support Biden over Trump, he said, "Can he get himself to apologize for the crime bill?" and listed a range of policies and viewpoints he wanted Biden to change.

The post argued that Render was arrested because of that interview: "Killer Mike ARRESTED at the Grammy's in a huge spectacle just 2 days after refusing to endorse Biden. This is what they'll do if you step out of line."


(Screenshot via X)

Render was not arrested because of his political views, as a police statement and his own comments attest. As such, we rate this claim as "False."

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a post on X that Render was involved in a physical altercation and was booked on a misdemeanor battery charge.

Render addressed the incident in a radio interview the next morning, without going into specifics about the alleged altercation. "We hit a speed bump and then we head back to the party, man," he said.

In a statement to NBC News, the rapper said: "I greatly appreciate the concern and support, but I am better than OK. As you can imagine, there was a lot going on and there was some confusion around which door my team and I should enter. We experienced an overzealous security guard but my team and I have the utmost confidence that I will ultimately be cleared of all wrongdoing."

A statement from his team added: "The situation has been overblown but we are confident that the facts of the case, when laid bare, will show that Mike did not commit the alleged offense and he will be exonerated.”

According to jail records seen by Snopes, the rapper was released from custody on his own recognizance at 8:37 p.m. PST the night of the Grammys and was due to appear in court Feb. 29, 2024.

Render’s album "Michael" won best rap album at the awards show, with one of his songs, "Scientists & Engineers," earning the honors for best rap song and best rap performance.

Sources

Jacobs, Julia. “Killer Mike Calls His Grammys Arrest a ‘Speed Bump.’” The New York Times, 5 Feb. 2024. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/05/arts/music/killer-mike-grammys-arrest.html. Accessed 6 Feb. 2024.

“Killer Mike Blames Confusion and ‘over-Zealous Security Guard’ for Grammys Arrest.” NBC News, 6 Feb. 2024, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/killer-mike-grammys-arrest-blames-confusion-security-guard-rcna137411. Accessed 6 Feb. 2024.

"Killer Mike Seen in Handcuffs during Grammys after Winning 3 Awards." CBS News. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kxZulHQDvY. Accessed 6 Feb. 2024.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.