Morrissey Has Run-In With Police

It’s no surprise that Morrissey draws a crowd wherever he goes, but on Wednesday night he was surrounded by more than 100 passersby in Rome after a police officer reportedly stopped him in the street and asked to see his “papers.” 

AP Photo / Eduardo Verdugo
– Morrissey
Morrissey makes a stop at Palacio De Los Deportes in Mexico City March 31.

The news about the confrontation comes from Morrissey’s nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, who posted about the incident on his Facebook page, along with a photo of the officer.  

According to Rayner’s Facebook post, the police officer reportedly demanded that the former Smiths frontman prove that he had “papers” and told Morrissey, “I know who you are.” Rayner notes that Morrissey didn’t have papers but told the officer that he knew his rights and that there was no reason to be stopped.  

“This was a deliberate act of terror by this Officer, who had no personal identification, but whose Polizia 113 motor-bike had the plate G2458,” Morrissey said. “I had not broken the law or acted suspiciously. The officer unlocked his gun and held it as he screamed into my face. Some people came to my rescue. This happened outside the Nike store, and many people filmed the obviously insane officer. I believe he recognized me and wanted to frighten me. I did not back down even though I believed he was about to shoot me. I urge people to beware of this dangerously aggressive Officer. He might kill you.”

Morrissey reportedly walked away after 35 minutes and the officer didn’t follow.

Of course, there’s always another side to a story. Italy’s La Repubblica reports (via Consequence of Sound) that the officer stopped Morrissey because he and his nephew were speeding on the wrong side of the road. The publication notes that the officer only recognized the singer after he was pulled over. The officer’s first concern was identifying the driver, Morrissey’s nephew.

In Italy you are required to show your driver’s license and documents if a police officer asks to see them, according to La Repubblica.

Rolling Stone reports that Moz was planning to tour Italy in September but nixed the seven proposed shows after the incident.