Reportedly, Harden, as well as several other men, were surrounded by police during a search on Avenue Montaigne. During the intense and police-riden search, which is now being circled and shared on social media, Harden can be heard saying he doesn’t understand what’s happening.
Footage from the arrest reveals an officer holding a vaping device, but it’s not clear from the information out there whom the device belongs to, or whether it contained cannabis or tobacco.
Famed rapper Lil Baby was also arrested, and can be seen in the footage seated in a police van and handcuffed. He was apparently among three people arrested for a cannabis-related charge. The vehicle the men were in was apparently pulled over and searched because the officers smelled cannabis, and they allegedly discovered 20 grams of marijuana upon their search.
TMZ tried to contact the Paris Police Department, who responded saying only that the incident is an active investigation. Sources close to Harden revealed, however, that he did not break any laws and was allowed to go about his day without being arrested.
The two were in Paris for Paris Fashion Week, and likely were not planning on a run-in with local police as part of the festivities. Lil Baby was allegedly arrested for transporting narcotics.
Harden is also currently not playing basketball, as he’s recovering from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss a fair amount of games and limits his mobility.
Lil Baby is a Big Smoker
This cannabis possession incident doesn’t come as a big surprise, as we all know Lil Baby likes to smoke. He was profiled in an Instagram Live session, as reported by Hip Hop DX talking about the $100,000 he charges on guest features, his money and how much he loves to smoke.
On the livestream sesh, he can be seen coughing and bragging about the price he pays for an ounce of cannabis. He is also shown putting away his blunt and talking about how his weed is no joke.
“This ain’t no muthafucking corona. This exotic,” he said in the interview. “This cough, this is exotic cough. This a $500 a zip cough.”
In another interview, he talks about his love for blunts.
“I probably [started] smoking Backwoods four or five years ago,” he said. “PeeWee Longway, he put me onto Backwoods. He turned a lot of folks onto Backwoods whether they give him the credit or not.”
Lil Baby as an Advocate
Of course, no matter his public love for weed, it’s no secret that black men are often the target of police attention, in France as well as the U.S. Ironically, Lil Baby has not been silent on this issue. He released the track “The Bigger PIcture” after the death of George Floyd, a song filled with powerful lyrics about the action needed in this country.
“You can’t fight fire with fire, I know, but at least we can turn up the flames some,” he says in the song. The single became an anthem during last summer for those standing up against police brutality, and Lil Baby did not stop there. He also took to Twitter to social media to express his discontent, and even went so far as to say he wanted to work with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in Atlanta on police reform. However, he eventually took his post down and changed his mind.
“The more I’m seeing what’s up with all that shit, the more I’m like, ‘Let me back up off politics,’” he told GQ. “I don’t want to be no Malcolm X or Martin Luther [King]…I stuck my nose in it. I’m good on that.”
It remains to be seen whether this brush with the law will renew his charge against police oppression, and how he will fare in the face of French authorities.
Addison Herron-Wheeler is co-publisher and owner of OUT FRONT Magazine, and web editor of New Noise Magazine. She covers cannabis and heavy metal, and is author of Wicked Woman: Women in Metal from the 1960s to Now and Respirator, a collection of short stories.