The Washington Post

Raheem DeVaughn on Occupy DC and his day in jail


Raheem DeVaughn in Washington in February. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post )

Raheem DeVaughn says he didn’t set out to commit civil disobedience Sunday — he only planned to hear Cornel West speak to the Occupy D.C. protest. But one thing led to another, and the Grammy-nominated crooner got himself arrested, along with West and 17 other protesters, for refusing to leave the steps of the Supreme Court. They were released just a day later — no fines, no charges.

So, jail — how was it? Not bad, the Prince George’s native told our colleague Aaron Leitko.

“It was pretty by-the-book, standard procedure,” he said over the phone. The police were “pretty pleasant,” for the most part. “They had one bad apple out of the crew.” Oooh, what did he do? Well, nothing, really. “It was just his energy, man,” DeVaughn said. “It could be that he was missing the football game. It was a Sunday.”

Any star-struck cellmates? “I won’t say star-struck, but people definitely knew who we were,” he said. “We got an opportunity to build with a lot of the brothers and for the young cats to see us and embrace us.”

And yes, he’d totally do it again. “My team will probably hate to hear this, but this may not be the last time I go to jail for a thing that matters.”

Read earlier: Raheem DeVaughn’s birthday present: D.C.’s key to the city, 5/5/11

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