BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A security guard who used pepper spray on a crowd including rapper Boosie Badazz says he did so because a man was trying to start a fight with him as he tried to get the group to leave a store. In an interview, 55-year-old Glen Kerley also denied using racial slurs.
He spoke with the newspaper after winning a $233,000 default judgment against the Louisiana rapper, whose given name is Torrance Hatch, and bodyguard Larry Anderson, who didn’t show up at court to defend themselves against Kerley’s damage lawsuit.
Kerley testified he was assaulted while dealing with the rapper and onlookers at a Dillard’s store during Biloxi’s 2017 Black Beach Weekend. Kerley said he was told that the group had been asked to leave the store, but he doesn’t know why.
He said he was trying to get the group to leave when one man turned, clenching a fist, and said, “Don’t touch me.”
Kerley said he pepper-sprayed the man to prevent a fight inside the perfume department.
The group moved to another part of the store, where video shows Kerley pepper-sprayed a man in the face while several others, including Boosie, stood nearby. Kerley said the man he sprayed was saying, “Come on, me and you. Right here. Right now.”
He said he was knocked in the head in the store and as he left with the group. A Biloxi police officer’s sworn statement said he intervened when a member of the rapper’s group lunged at Kerley.
Boosie posted an online video telling Black Beach participants to run if they get stopped by police in Biloxi or Gulfport. The rapper also sued the store.
Another Dillard’s employee testified in a pretrial hearing that Kerley was known for aggressiveness toward black shoppers.
Kerley, who is retired from the Biloxi Police Department, has left Dillard’s but still works as a security guard.
He said he is experienced in dealing with people and using force, treats everyone with respect and doesn’t use racial slurs.
“You don’t have to berate,” he said. “You don’t have to degrade.”
He said online videos of the incident were heavily edited.
“You can’t sit there and go tit for tat on YouTube,” he said. “You just have to take it.”