Details Surface In The Attempted “Citizen’s Arrest” Of Dr. Dre

On Monday (7/25), Dr. Dre made national news after an incident that culminated with him being handcuffed and detained in a police car, in front of his own home. Hours later, reports began to surface, with some characterizing the event as “road rage,” and others suggesting that the occurrence was another in a long list of overzealous reactions by police and citizens in situations involving Black men. Since Monday, details have surfaced which now paint a clearer picture of the events that took place that morning in Malibu, CA.

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As widely reported, the incident began when Dre arrived at his home and found and unidentified motorist blocking his driveway. According to the New York Daily News, when Dre asked the man to move away from his driveway so that he could get in, the man yelled “I’m trying to get out of the f*cking traffic.” A source close to Dre says the producer responded “Uh, this is my driveway, I don’t know what you’re yelling at me for,” but the motorist continued yelling obscenities. The entertainer, born Andre Young, is then said to have taken his phone out to record the incident, to which the man said “Oh great, another black guy with a gun.”

It was apparently at that point when the motorist placed a call to 911, claiming that Young had “ordered him to leave and produced a handgun.” Although the incident took place on Dre’s property, he was the one handcuffed when the police arrived. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office did not find a weapon after searching Dre and the scene, and said that Dre “was cooperative with investigating deputies, consented to a search of his person and denied the allegations regarding the handgun.”


Despite those facts, many wondered why Dre was the person who was issued a citation for the incident, and a subsequent report sheds light. As reported by the Daily News, the motorist initiated a citizen’s arrest. According to California Penal Code Section 837: “A private person may arrest another for a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.” Section 841 of the code also provides that “The person making the arrest must inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest him, of the cause of the arrest, and the authority to make it, except when the person making the arrest has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested is actually engaged in the commission of or an attempt to commit an offense, or the person to be arrested is pursued immediately after its commission, or after an escape.”

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It is unclear whether the motorist actually took all of the required steps to make a citizens arrest of Dre, however, in the motorists follow up with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to bring a criminal case, discrepancies emerged in his story, causing the charges to be dismissed. According to paperwork obtained by the Daily News, “Victim initially said he was only angry and not in fear…There were discrepancies between victim’s description of suspect’s clothing and vehicle and suspect’s actual clothing and vehicle.”

Although Dr. Dre does not plan to take any formal action against the motorist, the rawness left by George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin–for which he was not convicted–followed by several unprosecuted killings of Black men by law enforcement officers, casts a dubious light on matters like these, for many.