Police in Northern Ireland have sparked confusion after they played rap music from their Land Rover’s loud hailer in an effort to reduce tensions with youths.
A van from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) played the KRS-One song Sound of Da Police when they approached trouble in the New Lodge district of Belfast.
Footage of the surprising moment has circulated on social media via a Facebook page run by The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) – where police are accused of attempting to "antagonise" the youths in the area.
But police have rejected the accusation and have argued they were trying to alleviate tensions through use of the iconic rap tune.
While a second video allegedly shows police seemingly mocking a group of youths as their Land Rover drives by with a voice saying "you’re so strong" over the loud hailer.
And BelfastLive reports a further video shows police saying: "Ah no, don’t throw it at the armoured truck” when youths allegedly throw missiles at the all-terrain capable vehicle.
Chief Inspector Kelly Moore told BelfastLive of the incidents: "In relation to the first four-second video clip, Local police officers on duty in North Belfast on Thursday evening (13 August) had a very positive engagement with a group of young people.
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"Having spent some time speaking with the young people, as the police left the area, the song was played for a matter of seconds in good humour, with the young people waving, dancing and cheering.
"Any attempt by others to claim this was an attempt to antagonise, does both the young people and the community a disservice.
"While we are making enquiries regarding the other five-second section of video footage, on occasion, when people look like they are about to throw items at police vehicles, officers do engage with them in a bid to defuse the situation."
Sound Of Da Police was a chart hit in the USA in 1993 for KRS-One – aka 54-year-old Lawrence Parker.
The hip-hop classic criticised police brutality and systematic oppression in the United States and includes the lyrics: "Woop-woop/That's the sound of da police/That's the sound of the beast."
KRS One's social observational work has inspired other musicians in the USA including Eminem and the late rap icon 2Pac.
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