Mario is opening up about a recent tense standoff with two Miami police officers that could’ve ended tragically.
The Grammy-nominated R&B veteran recalled the terrifying ordeal to Page Six. He was in Miami with a friend in March when they’re trip took a turn for the worse. While going about their business, his friend got in a heated argument with another man that escalated. The result had his friend, who he says is a licensed concealed carrier, and the man both drawing their guns on each other.
Concerned, Mario got out of the car to defuse the situation before things spiralled further out of control, especially since his friend’s had his baby daughter in the back seat at the time. Fortunately, he did just that and no one got hurt. But, unbeknownst to them, an onlooker, who witnessed the exchange, had already called the cops.
While his friend went to the bathroom, Mario waited in the car for him to return. Suddenly, two Miami police officers approached his vehicle with their guns drawn, shouting.
“I forgot about the gun that was in the armrest, [so] when they asked me if there were any guns in the car, I said, ‘No there’s no guns in the car,’” the “Let Me Love You” singer recollected. “So the cops say, ‘There’s a gun right there — why did you lie to me?’ Then this lady cop appeared and was like, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Aren’t you Mario?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ But I forgot about being Mario at this point. I’m just like, ‘Please don’t shoot me.’ From there, she told the guys to put their guns down.”
While he’s grateful that his encounter with the police didn’t end in his arrest or, quite frankly, death, Mario acknowledged that his celebrity status has afforded him certain privileges and likely saved him that night.
“Yes, I’ve experienced racism, but I’ve also experienced privilege as an artist. As an artist I will say we do have privilege,” he explained to Page Six. “Whether it is sports, entertainment, we see power in all these different spaces, but with that also comes privilege.”
(Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/WireImage)