One of the young people arrested after Hiawatha’s Hog-Wild days turned rowdy is speaking up in his own defense. Even though 18-year-old Charles Crawley hasn’t yet had his day in court, he’s taken a very modern approach to getting out his own story…he’s recorded his version and posted it on the Internet for us all to hear.
Crawley says there were 200 or 250 people there as the “Rap battle” began and a contestant called “Perf the Boy Wonder from Big Bang” went first. They hosted the event to choose a new “recruit” to record on Big Bang, a Cedar Rapids recording studio’s label.
Crawley says cops were judging the rap contest and had given permission for it to occur ahead of time. “Police okayed it,” Crawley declares. He says they’ve been hosting these “battles” for over two years with big audiences and there’s never been trouble. He says after one short performance, a second had barely begun when several police officers came and broke it up.
Crawley says a lot of people were upset and he wanted to calm things down. He says he talked to the police officers, “Never once got loud” or talked about hitting them. “I just wanted to know how come we’re getting kicked out, and two minutes later, he arrested me and I was on my way to jail.”
Crawley, who just graduated from Cedar Rapids Metro High School, says he’s done a lot of good work to build a reputation as someone who’s not just a gangster. “I’ve registered over 150 voters, I’ve set up stuff at the African-American museum celebrating fifty years with Rosa Parks.” He says while working to get legislation restoring felons’ right to vote he lobbied at the capitol and worked with the governor’s staff.
As many as two-hundred teenagers had gathered to watch the rap battle before the altercation Sunday night, after a day of other traditional activities like bingo and pie-eating. In addition to Crawley, another 18-year-old and a 16-year-old were taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct.
Related web sites:
Big Bang studio site with Crawley video