Popcaan Pleads Guilty, Fined For Unruly Fest Outburst, Refuses To Apologise To Cops

Dancehall artist Popcaan was in high spirits as he appeared before the St. Thomas Parish Court on Wednesday, January 10.

The Silence deejay was fined J$6000 after pleading guilty to using indecent language, disorderly conduct, using abusive and calumnious language and issuing a threat to police officers. Popcaan reportedly told Judge Sanchia Burrell that he had no desire to apologize or otherwise utter any statements toward the police.

“I don’t have nothing to say,” he said, according to the Gleaner.

The Unruly Boss will, however, have to return to court on February 9, 2024, to answer to the remaining charge of breaching the Noise Abatement Act. 

Attorney-at-law Matthew Hyatt, who along with Bert Samuels are representing Popcaan, told reporters shortly after today’s proceedings that their client has taken accountability for how he acted towards the lawmen. 

“We explained (to the) Court that we are taking responsibility for actions, and that Mr. Sutherland is a great member of St. Thomas. He has held Unruly Fest for several years— this is his third staging— attracting over 6000 persons per staging,” Hyatt said. “It is unfortunate that the event was ended in the manner that it was. But of course, tempers flared and emotions ran high and in the initial outset, he said, ‘manners and respect’ to the police officers.”

Hyatt noted that there is some amount of bias with how the Risky deejay has been treated over the years, and argued that the country lacks proper entertainment venues. 

“Entertainers in Jamaica are not being granted the opportunity to have their events free within the spaces and confines of Jamaica. We see events being held in Europe, for example, where they have proper space for their events and we don’t have that in Jamaica.”

“But, Mr. Sutherland has certainly been a target of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) for several years now… he has matters even before the court, and so, we can understand why he reacted in the manner which he reacted,” he said adding that the legal team is challenging the fifth charge because the permit for Unruly Fest was not granted to Popcaan personally. 

The police were forced to bring the curtains down on the event after the promoters exceeded the time allowed for its staging. Popcaan reacted angrily to the abrupt lock-off in videos widely circulating on social media and launched into an angry tirade peppered with expletives.

Meanwhile, over on his Instagram, Poppy has been making light of his fine, detailing the $1,500 penalty for each guilty offense.

He said: “Dem charge mi $6000 fi all a dem ting yah. Mi need help fi pay dem. Unuh start wah fund fi me right now fi pay dem sumn yah, please.”

Popcaan was last before the courts on several traffic violations in November 2021. He was slapped with a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty in the Yallahs Traffic Court in St Thomas.

The deejay also has a lawsuit against the Attorney General over an allegedly defamatory Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) press release. In September 2023, Samuels told DancehallMag that his team had opted to go the route of mediation in that matter.

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