Cops Shut Down Mos Def Performance

Mos Def in an undated photo.
AP GraphicsBank
Rapper and actor Mos Def was arrested Thursday night after performing his song "Katrina Clap" without a permit outside the MTV Video Music Awards.

Mos Def and his entourage rolled up on a flatbed truck outside Radio City Music Hall in New York at 10 p.m. Thursday night and began an unscheduled performance for the crowd of fans outside the venue.

A spokesperson for the New York Police Department told MTV News that police officers asked Mos Def and the people he was with to shut down their show because of crowd conditions.

A publicist for the rapper called the arrest "unjust."

"Mos Def did not set out to get arrested or break laws," Carleen Donavan told "His only intention was to remind people that after one year the people hardest hit by Katrina still need the support of all Americans. Mos Def chose to use his voice to speak for those who are losing their own during this critical period of reconstruction."

Donavan added that the rapper was in the middle of performing when approached by the police, but he shut everything down as soon as he was made aware of the situation.

"His staff and team were willing to comply, as well but the police overreacted," Donavan said. "Mos Def was not charged but given a summons for operating a sound reproduction device without a permit — which he is going to contest."

By Judy Faber