NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Justice was served for hip-hop veteran and "Law & Order: SVU" actor, Ice-T when prosecutors dropped unlicensed driving charges against the 52-year-old West-coast lyricist.
"That's what I'm talking about - dismissed!" exclaimed the rapper in a Manhattan courtroom after the judge shelved the misdemeanor case. "Like I said from the gate, I never broke the law," he said leaving the court with his model wife, Coco.
Ice-T, born Tracy Marrow, was arrested July 20 after a traffic stop of his 2009 Cadillac on Manhattan's West Side. He and his wife were on their way to take their bulldog to the vet for knee surgery. According to police, they stopped the rapper-actor on grounds that he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, which he contests, and a routine check indicated that his license was suspended.
Irate by the allegations, the fuming rapper unleashed his fury via Twitter stating: "Some punk b***h rookie cop...Made the arrest of this bulls**t career today. Arresting the Notorious Ice-T for no seatbelt."
Ice-T told police that he had a valid New Jersey driver's license, but that didn't prevent them from taking the rapper to the 10th Precinct in Chelsea and issuing him a ticket to appear in court, reported The New York Post.
But prosecutors said Tuesday that New York Department of Motor Vehicles records incorrectly reflected that his license was suspended because of lack of insurance, when his car is in fact insured and registered in New Jersey.
According to his lawyer Eric Franz, Ice-T registered and insured three cars in New Jersey after relocating there from New York in 2008, and handed over his New York license plates.
Ice-T's business manager reportedly sent all that information to the New York DMV following his move, but it was "not reflected in the Department of Motor Vehicles' computerized records," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jessica Barron told a judge.
Ice-T was not aware that his insurance was marked suspended. "That's why I was so angry," he said. "It basically turned out to be a clerical error."
The actor has played Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on "Law & Order: SVU" since 2000, but he hasn't always identified with the boys in blue. His graphic 1992 song "Cop Killer" drew protests from police groups, among others. Ice-T explained that the song was an attempt to shed light on police brutality, but ultimately agreed to remove the track from his album "Body Count."
MORE ON CRIMESIDER