Interview with Anthony B | Arrested & Released in the USA
Anthony B, Freedom Fighter, was stopped in Atlanta, Georgia with his band on a routine traffic stop. The reason for the stop was that the van they were in had tinted windows, which is an offense in some parts of the United States, and not an offense in other parts. There were nine people in the vehicle as part of his entourage, they were searched and according to the police report were found with 5 ounces of marijuana and $6,900 in cash. This caused charges to be brought of possession with intent to sell a Schedule 1 substance which is an offense that can bring 1-10 years in prison. Since Anthony B is not a U.S. citizen but performs and works with a work permit, this can cause future problems for him related to his status as a performer in the United States. As the interview reveals, in the days to come, Keith "Anthony B" Blair will face court proceedings and once that is behind him he will be in a better place to discuss the arrest experience in detail. We reached Anthony B while he was riding in a car to Florida. Watch Reggaeville for more information as the situation continues to unfold.
Take us through what and where you were, coming from a show, before, whether you had any signs that you were going to be stopped before it happened.
I was asleep.
You were sleeping, so you couldn't possibly know that you were being stopped, and you certainly were not the driver. What did the driver look like, was he wearing dreads or a turban?
No, he does not wear dreads.
Were you held for bail? How did they treat you when you were brought in for questioning?
We don't want to discuss too much information about what happened yet until these proceedings are over as my lawyer advised me. You understand? The main thing is to know that I am here and I am out and further on down the road Reggaeville will have another interview about everything, detailing from top to bottom. Because I did not know the law, we don't want to stress on certain things but, we are out and we are here and we are waiting on the legal proceedings. I still believe in the justice system, because that is what we stand up and fight for, justice, you understand? While the justice system is going, we are ok, we are back on the road, the tour will continue, I will be in New York for the 7th, in Brooklyn to continue my shows. The show that is cancelling in Columbus will also reschedule, and I will be there in Europe for March, April, guaranteed.
You consider Peter Tosh one of your greatest inspirations, what do you think Peter Tosh would do or say if it was he that were in your situation in this modern, present day?
Legalize it, you know?
You are aware that Georgia has very strict laws relating to marijuana possession and that the United States has it as a controlled substance in the same class as cocaine or heroin, what does this mean to you as a Rastafarian?
As a Rastafarian, we don't see it like that, I am not the first person of the Rasta community. I was brought up and learn and taught and teach about the Rasta movement and livity. This is the way I learned about it and this is what I know. Its a sacrament, we are Rasta, its like when you see the Roman Catholic priests and they have got that thing with chains and they smoke.
That signifies part of their religious sacrament, so for the Rastaman this is his incense, for his religious sacrament, you know?
There has been a huge outpouring of support on social media for you since this happened, is there anything else you would like to tell the massive?
I would like to tell the massive, keep fighting with the freedom figher, because this show me that I am not yet walking in the footsteps of my hero Peter Tosh, but eventually when you walking in his footsteps, you are going to get a lot of these things are going to come to you. When I pass around in Jamaica, it was like putting my life at risk, when I see the political system. They see Anthony B gone down, Anthony B will soon get killed, this is the person I think I want to be like, Peter Tosh. So I don't run and refrain from standing for what I believe in. That is what Peter Tosh was, the cutting razor, and that's what I am in this time. Thanks a lot to the Reggaeville family and to all the fans out there of Anthony B, and to all the supporters of reggae music and roots and culture music know that we are out here trying to be conscious, trying to spread this message of peace and love, that is my message, love yourself, peace and love. I have never conveyed illegal things, I am not a part of that, you understand, as the world can know. So I would say, thanks to all my fans, and thanks to all of your prayers because Jah is real, he's alive and he's real. He just take us out of the belly of the beast, so we give thanks for this day and give thanks for my family and all their support and give thanks for all of my friends. I just want to say give thanks for now, that is the greatest thing I am doing.
Thanks to BUXNA AGENCY, who made this interview possible and are responsible for bringing Anthony B to Europe in March/April. Check all upcoming shows HERE!
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 4, 2013. Miami, Fl.
Keith "Anthony B" Blair responds to reports of recent arrest.
There were recent reports that Anthony B has been arrested in Houston County, Ga. on drug related charges. Anthony B was returning from a tour of the West Coast of the United States where he had performed several dates in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada
While driving through the state of Georgia the tour bus in which the entertainer and his band were traveling was stopped, allegedly because the tint was too dark for a patrolman monitoring highway traffic.
The police received the full cooperation of the all the passengers and while there was no indications of wrongdoing, the police had everyone exit the bus and proceeded to search the vehicle. During the search, a small amount of marijuana, less than 4 oz., and rolling paper was allegedly discovered among the belongings of three band members. These individuals acknowledged at the scene, ownership of the substance that was found.
No illegal items were found on Anthony B or among his personal possessions and despite his protestations of his innocence the police nonetheless proceeded to arrest everyone in the bus.
Based on the small quantity of marijuana that was found, the manner in which it was been held and the obvious indications of personal use by the parties who possessed the marijuana, the police chose to overcharge this as possession with intent to distribute marijuana. These charges are absolutely not supported by the facts of this case.
Anthony B maintains his innocence and will vigorously fight these charges. He looks forward to the opportunity to show over the coming weeks that these charges are unfounded and but for the over zealousness of the police officers involved, he and others of his band would not have been charged
Anthony B wishes to thank all his fans and supporters for their continued and overwhelming support as he fights these charges and speedily put this matter behind him.
Mark A. Douglas, Esq.
Attorney for Keith "Anthony B" Blair