Paris Police Release Rapper Lil Baby, Hand Him Drug Fine

Paris Police Release Rapper Lil Baby, Hand Him Drug Fine
NBA player James Harden (L) and rap artist Lil' Baby arrive at the Balenciaga Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2021/2022 as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, on July 7 2021. (J.M Haedrich/AP Photo)

PARIS—Paris police released rapper Lil Baby from custody on Friday after fining him for having cannabis in his car, according to the city prosecutor’s office. He was stopped along with NBA star James Harden, who was frisked but not detained.

Lil Baby’s arrest on Thursday along one of the French capital’s most upscale avenues shocked fans of both high-profile Americans, in town for Paris Fashion Week.

After his release, the Grammy-nominated rapper from Atlanta posted on Instagram “I’m Good” and said that he was heading back to the United States.

Plainclothes police stopped Harden, Lil Baby and his bodyguard because a strong smell of cannabis was coming from their car, according to a French police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to be publicly named.

The official said that Lil Baby, whose real name is Dominique Jones, initially refused to allow police to check the car. The situation was tense because the Americans didn’t understand what was happening. Uniformed officers then arrived and proceeded to search the car, finding 32 grams of cannabis, according to the official.

Lil Baby and the bodyguard were taken into custody on suspicion of transporting drugs, and released Friday morning after being handed fines, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Video of the incident shared online shows a plainclothes officer frisking a confused-looking Harden while he holds his phone.

A student in the area described seeing the ruckus on what is normally a quiet avenue, lined with luxury boutiques. “I turned my head and it was unbelievable, I saw Lil Baby and James Harden … they are standing and are being frisked,” said the witness, Lance Avraham Pena.

Language appeared to pose a problem and police didn’t recognize the two Americans, said Pena, who filmed a bit of the scene.

A representative for Lil Baby did not respond to requests for comment.

Harden, meanwhile, posted photos online soon before the arrest of the two friends at various Paris locales, but hasn’t commented publicly since the incident.

Harden, the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player, played with the Houston Rockets before joining the Nets this season. He briefly committed to play with the U.S. men’s national team at the Tokyo Olympics later this month but has since told the national team that the hamstring injury that affected him during the NBA playoffs would not allow him to participate.

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