Richmond, Va., officials, enjoying a drastic reduction in homicides and a 13 percent dip in violent crime so far this year, couldn’t be happier about an obscenity-laced, homemade hip-hop disc confiscated by police, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Police call it “props” — a sign of respect from the street that they’re making things tough on the bad guys. On the disc, a defiant Richmond drug dealer raps about the increased risks of his occupation since Mayor L. Douglas Wilder took office.
The rapper says police pressure has “made it a lot harder for me to touch my chips [money].” His song ends with an angry and profane rant directed toward a veteran Richmond homicide detective. In an internal police-department newsletter, the detective Mills took the hip-hop diss as a good sign. “If an individual gets mad enough to write an angry rap song about me, we, as a department must be doing something right,” he said. An amused Wilder seemed more encouraged than fazed by the rape lyrics. “It should be comforting to all of us in the community to know that the message is getting out: that we will not tolerate crime,” he said. Statistics seem to back up the statement. By the end of 2006, detectives had cleared 74 percent of homicides and made arrests in 19 other cold-case homicides unsolved in previous years. The national average is 62 percent. This year, there have been 26 homicides, compared with 47 at the same time last year. Police have made arrests in 16 cases.