Brother Ali Arrested: Rap Star Taken Into Custody for Trespassing

Brother Ali
Brother Ali |

Brother Ali was arrested Thursday night for trespassing and refusing police orders to leave the premises.

Brother Ali, otherwise known as Ali Douglas Newman, is a rap veteran who is has been around the rap circuit for years. He is a regular at First Avenue and has appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." He was arrested at a residence in south Minneapolis.

The area Brother Ali was arrested in has been a central part of the Occupy Homes anti-foreclosure protests. Ali has supported those protests, but his arrest shows he has gone even further this time.

Brother Ali has said Friday morning, "I think there was a need for us to make this bold of a statement. People are fighting for justice and for dignity."

Occupy Homes leaders had met Thursday with the foreclosing bank PNC in Pittsburgh, who were foreclosing on a residence belonging to the Cruz family. However, those meetings did not go well, and Brother Ali has said the bank basically told them there was "nothing they could do." The dissatisfactory meeting is thought to have sparked the protests.

Brother Ali was arrested with a dozen other protesters at the residence on Friday, and he reported that he spent seven hours in jail before eventually being released on $50 bail. He will have to return to court on June 5 for a hearing.

Police have reported that the protests and arrests were all conducted peacefully.

Brother Ali grew up feeling like an outcast for being an albino. However, he turned to Islam when he was 15, which he praises for helping him find his self identity.

Ali was born with the rare genetic condition of albinism, a disorder characterized by a lack of pigment in skin, eyes, and hair. Brother Ali often makes fun of the media's constant urge to mention his condition in the first lines of their reviews or newspaper articles. He is also legally blind which is caused by his albinism

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