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Killer Mike blames confusion and 'over-zealous security guard' for Grammys arrest

There was physical contact between a female security guard and the 48-year-old rapper, law enforcement officials said.
Killer Mike.
Killer Mike at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Rapper Killer Mike said he was dramatically led out of the Grammys and arrested Sunday after he won three awards following an incident involving an "over-zealous security guard."

Killer Mike, 48, whose real name is Michael Render, was led away in handcuffs, and Los Angeles police said he was arrested after an alleged "physical altercation" during the pre-televised part of Sunday’s show.

"I greatly appreciate the concern and support, but I am better than OK. As you can imagine, there was a lot going and there was some confusion around which door my team and I should enter," he said in a statement.

"We experienced an over-zealous security guard but my team and I" have the utmost confidence "that I will ultimately be cleared of all wrongdoing," he continued.

Multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the investigations said Render was involved in multiple instances of physical contact with a female security guard, who made a citizen’s arrest that led to the misdemeanor charge.

One of the law enforcement sources said the rapper twice pushed the security guard down and allegedly threw an elbow as she tried to prevent him and another person from skirting a security checkpoint.

The security guard was treated at the scene by Los Angeles fire personnel, the source said.

Render was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and released at 8:37 p.m. He is due to appear in court Feb. 29, according to jail records.

In a statement, his team called the situation "overblown" and said it is "confident that the facts of the case, when laid bare, will show that Mike did not commit the alleged offense and he will be exonerated.”

He had just won three awards: best rap performance, best rap song and best rap album, for last year's "Michael," his sixth album. Render, from Atlanta, is also known for his work as half of the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels.

Render's statement thanked the Grammy voting committee for recognizing his work. "We are incredibly proud and are basking in this moment," he said.

He also revealed that his son has found a donor match for a new kidney after a yearslong wait, news that was delivered to the family the day after his Grammy win. "Obviously, we are elated," he said.

At Tuesday’s Los Angeles Police Commission meeting, Commissioner Rasha Gerges Shields said she had some concerns over Sunday's arrest and wondered out loud whether Taylor Swift would have been handcuffed and booked in a similar circumstance.

Police Chief Michel Moore rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing.

"I assure you that the actions of these officers are absolutely in response to the state law that requires it,” he said.

Moore said he intervened and directed that Render be released from custody even before the booking process had been completed.

He added that he thought every possible discretion was exercised but that authorities had to act without bias on an allegation of battery.

"In fairness to that security guard, despite the notoriety or individual’s identity, we have a responsibility to also act fairly and unbiased, regardless of a person’s wealth or stature in regards to their community," Moore said.