A grass-roots effort by a Texas law enforcement group to squelch a cop-hating song by rapper Ice-T and boycott music giant Time Warner Inc., whose Warner Bros. division distributes the record, received an unexpected boost from Vice President Quayle yesterday.

"I'll be damned," said a bemused Dwight Tiller of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT), located in Austin, when told Quayle had blasted the "obscene record" and accused Time Warner of profiting from it. CLEAT, representing about 12,000 Texas police officers, began talk of a boycott of Time Warner after the song's lyrics were published in the June issue of a Dallas police association newsletter.

The song, "Cop Killer," which appears on the singer's "Body Count" album released in March, includes the lyrics: "I got my 12-gauge sawed off/ I got my headlights turned off/ I'm 'bout to bust some shots off/ I'm 'bout to dust some cops off." Ice-T, who played an undercover cop in the movie "New Jack City," told the New Music Seminar in New York earlier this week: "At no point do I go out and say, 'Let's do it.' I'm singing in the first person as a character who is fed up with police brutality. I ain't never killed no cop. I felt like it a lot of times. But I never did it."

The CLEAT effort has picked up support among some law enforcement groups in Los Angeles and New York. And three national music chains with more than 1,000 stores among them -- Trans World Music, Super Club Music and Sound Warehouse -- have pulled the album from their shelves.

Time Warner said it has no plans to stop distribution of "Body Count." "It's an easy target because it's frightening to some people," said Bob Merlis, a spokesman for Warner Bros. Records. "I don't think {Quayle} has heard the lyrics in context ... especially the context of their inner-city sensibility."

Other police groups have criticized the CLEAT boycott. Director Ronald Hampton of the Washington-based National Black Police Association, which has 35,000 members nationwide, said: "Ice-T has the right to say anything that he feels. ... People are not going to go over and shoot police officers just because Ice-T sings about it.

"It reeks of hypocrisy. Where were these police groups at the time of the Rodney King beating?" asked Hampton.

District Police spokeswoman Wyseoda Smith said the department had not taken a position on the controversy. But when read some lyrics from "Cop Killer," she said, "That's crazy, that's wild, that's pretty violent."

CLEAT has stopped just short of calling for an official boycott of Time Warner, whose biggest summer movie, "Batman Returns," opened yesterday. Tiller said the group is waiting to see whether continued pressure will lead Time Warner to stop distributing the record.

Law enforcement took a stand against rap sentiments similar to "Cop Killer" in 1989, when the FBI distributed a letter focusing on the N.W.A. song "{Expletive} Tha Police," which includes the line "takin' out a police will make my day." The group's record company received a letter from the FBI's public affairs office noting that the song "encourages violence and disrespect for the law enforcement officer."