According to manager Teron Matthews, the rapper Young Moose, born Kevron Evans, was arrested by Baltimore Police last night in response to a peace order alleging domestic violence. This is the second time he has been arrested in the last month. The first arrest, for a traffic violation that occurred on March 19, happened on June 5, the day before Moose had a show scheduled at Baltimore Soundstage as part of the Baltimore Spring Jam Festival. Though he was released before the show, Moose did not perform.
The recent arrests follow a pattern of run-ins with the police, who, in some cases, seem to be targeting Moose because of his enormous popularity among young people in Baltimore.
As City Paper detailed in last year's story "The Detective and the Rapper," Moose was previously arrested on Aug. 13, days before a show at the Royal Farms Arena opening for Lil Boosie, related to a July 25 raid at Moose's residence in which cocaine and heroin were found (Moose was not present at the residence during the raid). Moose's lawyer, Richard Woods, claims Moose's arrest was delayed until Aug. 13 in order to prevent Moose from performing: "Detective Hersl also stated that he was aware of the Aug. 16 concert and stated that he would make sure that Kevron did not have any chance to perform at that concert."
The warrant obtained to search Moose's residence on July 25 cited the rapper's music videos and lyrics as part of the justification to enter the residence. Following the Aug. 13 arrest, Moose was in jail until Oct. 27 when he was freed on bail. Judge John Howard called it "cruel and unusual" to deny Moose bail for much longer due to "the circumstances relating to Mr. Evans and the nature of potential penalties," which included his career as a rapper, the issues surrounding the charges, and the two-plus months Moose already spent in jail.
The June 5 arrest, the day before Moose's scheduled show at Baltimore Soundstage, fits a similar pattern of being design to thwart public appearances.
"He had just gotten released and basically security from the club went to Moose and said [the police] will lock you up if you come inside," Matthews says. Spring Jam Festival organizer CJDaJuice told City Paper that police contacted Soundstage about Moose and, through security, she was told that if Moose "step[ped] towards the premises, it was going to be a problem." She also cites a 2014 show at Paparazzi that Moose was scheduled to perform at, which didn't happen for similar reasons.
Although this seems like an attempt by the police to "control the city," especially during a period of high violence, CJDaJuice stresses, it also has the effect of bolstering some of Moose's complaints about the police. The goal, it seems, is to "scare the venues" by threatening to "bring police attention" to them, which makes Moose a liability which doesn't allow him to perform.
Both of Moose's recent arrests took place near or at the Out the Mud clothing store on 2334 E. Monument St., where City Paper had visited with Young Moose days before the June 5 arrest. During the visit, an officer stood across the street and appeared to be watching the store. Moose informed us that this happens on most days.
"They had taped off the block so that when they came out they were isolated," Matthews says of last night's arrest, during which he says seven people were detained by as many as "20 cops, detectives and all." Matthews says that when two customers asked why they were being detained, the officers said 'Because you were in the store.'" Last night, Fox 45 posted an image from in front of the Out The Mud store (though they did not identify it), which read in part, "@BaltimorePolice confirm an investigation taking place in the 2300 block of E. Monument Thursday evening."
City Paper reached out to the police for more information about Young Moose's arrest, and Det. Rashawn Strong confirmed he recieved our request and would look into it and get back to us.
Since Moose's release in the fall, he put out "O.T.M. 3," which features a number of songs in which he raps explicitly about Det. Daniel Hersl, as well as Judge Howard and his parole officer.
According to Matthews, Young Moose's next project, "Moose Leroy," is expected to be released in early July.