The self-identified director and one of the stars of a student-produced rap video at the center of a Bessemer City Police investigation has been arrested after drugs were found in his home, according to officials.
Matt Pope, 20, was arrested after investigators said they found LSD in his home. One other person, Zach Stalcup, was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana at Bessemer City High.
Authorities told WBTV that the charges stemmed from the investigation into the video, but are not related to it.
The music video police say was produced by and starred some Bessemer City High School students is getting some attention. In the video, the students use the "N" word, flash a gun, use profanity and drugs. Students claim though the drugs and weapon were fake.
Bessemer City Police department saw the video and within 48 hours an investigation was launched.
"When somebody is portraying smoking drugs," Bessemer City Police Chief T.E. Ellis said. "And a firearms involved and teenagers and people throwing gang signs, of course we conduct an open investigation."
Police say they have identified all the people involved and have started interviewing them. They are determining if the weapon and drugs were real or fake.
While police continue their investigation, parents fear what this video may do for the image of Bessemer City.
"We meant no harm but I'm glad people are seeing it," said Matt Pope who shot the video. Pope graduated from Bessemer City High School in 2011 and says a group of students hired him to shoot the video.
Pope says he shot the video to help some of his friends advance their music career.
"You walk down the hallways in that school and you hear the same thing and see the same stuff. The school can try to hide their image but that's what it is," Pope said.
Parents at Bessemer City High School tell WBTV they are concerned about the video.
"I think it's awful," Parent Norma Guffey said. "I really think kids shouldn't be doing that.
"That's not proper," Parent Karen Murray said. "It really ain't. It scares me for my kids."
Courtney Whisenant is a ninth grader at Bessemer City High School. She has seen the video.
"The one that was holding up the gun," Whisenant said. "Is on the basketball team."
She wonders what the fuss is all about.
"They didn't hurt anybody doing it." Whisenant said.
"If they want to make music," parent said. "That's a good thing, but let's do it in a positive way. Not in the negative way."
Gaston County school officials say they are aware of the video. They are working with police and say there could be disciplinary actions against students depending on what police conclude.
To see the raw video on Youtube, click here (WARNING: Graphic Language)
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