Before his death in February, Pop Smoke was asked to snitch on members of the Crips.
According to a new report from the New York Post, the late Brooklyn rapper dodged detectives from the NYPD gang unit who tried to get him to speak about two Brooklyn shootings when he was arrested in December 2019 for transporting a stolen Rolls-Royce Wraith.
The detective questioned Pop about a non-fatal shooting in Canarsie in June 2019 because investigators said they had video of the rapper driving a car near the scene of the crime. They also reportedly asked him to provide intel about members of the notorious Brooklyn street gang 823 Crips.
However, Pop refused to cooperate, according to his lawyer, Peter Frankel. “Any conversation with Pop about cooperation was a very short one. It’s something he would never entertain doing,” said Frankel.
Pop, born Bashar Jackson, was hit with six state charges, including criminal possession of stolen property. After refusing to cooperate, he also received a federal charge in January 2020, which was possibly done to get him to snitch.
“They hoped the force of the federal indictment would persuade him to cooperate — meet and speak with them,” Frankel said.
When the FBI arrested him at JFK Airport after returning from overseas, the same NYPD gang unit detective grilled the rapper about the 823 Crips and another non-fatal shooting on Jan. 4 outside a Queens nightclub. He again refused to cooperate and was released on $250,000 bond. As part of his conditions, he agreed to stay away from known gang members and submit drug tests to U.S. pretrial services.
In a Feb. 7 memo in his federal case, U.S. pretrial services tried to prevent Pop from performing at the “BK Drip Concert” in Brooklyn on Feb. 16, claiming that several scheduled performers were identified gang members. Pop canceled his performance, but his lawyer stated that it was his understanding that Pop was not a “person of interest” in the shooting, and instead a potential witness.