Someone in southern New Zealand has been forcing police to listen to N.W.A.’s legendary 1988 song “Fuck tha Police” by illegally broadcasting it over their radio frequency, the Otago Daily Times reported Tuesday.
The song, intended to protest police brutality and racial profiling, caused a great deal of controversy when it was first released in the U.S. No American radio stations would play it, and at one point the group received a letter from the FBI expressing its disapproval (although according to their manager Jerry Heller, the letter turned out to be the work of a “single pissed-off bureaucrat with a bully pulpit”).
It even caused trouble in New Zealand as recently as 2011. In April of that year, a New Zealand musician named Tiki Taane was arrested on charges of “disorderly behavior likely to cause violence to start or continue” after he performed the song at a club in Tauranga.
Now police in Dunedin are saying the person broadcasting both the original N.W.A. song—and the newer Rage Against the Machine cover—is not only breaking the law but endangering public safety. Inspector Kelvin Lloyd told the Times that the person broadcasting the songs interfered with the police’s response to a report that a man was pointing a gun at a motorist.
“It was putting people in danger,” Lloyd told the newspaper. “There’s no question that if it carries on and if they do what they’re doing it will delay a response.”
If caught, the person behind the broadcast could face a penalty of criminal nuisance and up to one year in prison, police said. Lloyd also noted that no police radios were missing, and they believe the songs are being broadcast through other means.
In August, a prankster on New Zealand’s South Island managed to play pig grunts over the police radios there.