Ronald Hampton, a uniformed patrol officer in Washington, D.C., for the past 21 years and the director of national affairs for the National Black Police Association, backs Body Count and the band's First Amendment right of free expression. "We're not going to participate in the boycott," he says. "Police brutality is the real problem and has been. The people's anger and frustration existed long before Rodney King and the trial of the police officers [who were charged with beating King]. You see, police organizations are strange. If the song were about the postman or bus driver getting killed, they wouldn't have anything to say. Hypocrisy. Where is the expression of outrage about other issues that affect the people they work for, the citizens of this country? To all of a sudden raise this is very selfish."
On the other hand, a deputy police chief in Toronto, where cops are threatening a lawsuit to force the banning of Body Count, told a newspaper there, "If this song is popular, it's got to be a direct reflection of just how sick our society is becoming."
Phyllis Pollack, an L.A.-based publicist who's represented a number of confrontational artists including Ice-T, and who was told by one reporter, much to her surprise, that her friend Ice-T is a white man, says, "White kids go see Body Count in concert. That leads to a discussion, the kids talk to their parents about Rodney King. And the parents say, `Yeah, you're right. What happened was wrong.' That's what scares the authorities. It's only when whites come into it. Body Count's album came out in March. Where are all these dead cops?