Aspiring Rapper Forced to Rhyme for His Freedom Settles NYPD Lawsuit

Quinshon Shingles gets $7,500 for 2011 incident.

Posted: 03/26/2014 01:02 PM EDT
Filed Under NYPD, Music News, New York

An aspiring rapper who accused two NYPD officers of making him rhyme for his freedom has settled his lawsuit, the New York Daily News reports. Quinshon Shingles accepted a $7,500 payout for the federal suit, which he filed last November. 

Shingles says that in December 2011, cops David Grieco and Joseph Patton of Brooklyn's 75th Precinct burst into his aunt's East New York apartment without a warrant. The apartment's tenant, Donyale Kitchen, received a $4,500 settlement over the incident.

According to legal docs, Greico and Patton "coerced" the building's super into giving them a duplicate key and neither were in uniform when they entered the unit to question another man. Shingles was put in handcuffs as well, but the cops promised to release him if he "spit bars" to their liking. 

The 27-year-old, who uses the stage name, Sauce Da Boss, complied with authorities. "They said, 'Let me hear something, let me hear you rap, and if it’s good enough, we'll let you go,'" he told the Daily News last year. "I started rapping, and they liked it, so they said, 'You know what, get him out of the handcuffs.' I was probably rapping for about a minute before they let me go."

The humiliating run-in "took a toll" on Shingles and deterred him from doing music. "That incident right there, that really killed it for me," he said.

In the city's legal response to the suit last year, Assistant Corporation Counsel Qiana Smith-Williams said, "It does not appear that either plaintiff was arrested ... there will be very few police documents relevant to this matter."

Patton has since been promoted to detective, while Grieco was formally investigated in a dozen federal and state lawsuits claiming civil rights violations. The city shelled out $114,000 to settle three of the 12 cases. 

Despite settling with Shingles and Kitchen, the city has never admitted to wrongdoing.  

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 (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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