Posted on Jul 9, 2015

    A Man Live-Tweeted Armed Police Mistaking His Artwork For A Rifle

    The Metropolitan police stopped the man on Wednesday afternoon outside Buckingham Palace as he made his way to a friend's house.

    An artist was stopped outside Buckingham Gate in central London by police officers on Wednesday afternoon because they believed the artwork he was carrying was a rifle.

    Artist Ray Fiasco said he had simply been walking through the area carrying his artwork.

    so im walking through london. listening to young thug. walking towards buckingham palace to go to my boys house in victoria

    i was carrying my art with me. as you do when you are me.... my artwork is in a tube. wrapped in plastic... because its london and it rains

    The police told BuzzFeed News they had received a report of someone holding a "suspicious-looking package".

    now someone saw me walking... enjoying rich gang. with a smile on my face. and decided to conclude that i was carrying a rifle...

    so they called every form of police. told them i was carrying a rifle walking towards buckingham palace...

    Fiasco said the armed police pointed guns at him and searched his belongings.

    imagine. halfway through 'givenchy' 4 bmws pull up, block off the whole road, bout 10 man jump out, guns pointed at me...

    bullet proof vests... tazers... everything.

    crowd forms... people filming... man are searching my bags... guns still casually pointed at me.

    The police have denied Fiasco's claims that he was searched or that they pointed their weapons at him.

    In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, the Metropolitan police said that at no stage did officers point their weapons at Fiasco.

    The Met stated that he was spoken to by officers, but that he was not searched or arrested.

    The police told BuzzFeed News that officers conducted a "low-key stop" on Fiasco, who matched the description they were provided.

    they were like 'he fits the description' lol. l o l

    Fiasco said he asked the police what the description was and was told by an officer: "tall, black, and wearing a jacket".

    'course mate... course i fit the description. what was that description by the way?' 'she said you were tall, black and wearing a jacket'

    because obviously a tall black guy with a cardboard tube is carrying a RIFLE... init. makes sense. completely.

    He added that even after police realised his "rifle" was in fact an artwork, they said they still "needed to check CCTV".

    the officer was so shocked to see it was artwork... he was gobsmacked...

    even after they saw it was artwork... they were like 'wait there we need to check CCTV' ... bro with semi autos still at the ready

    Fiasco tweeted about how he had to "crack jokes" and show them he was "a British lad at heart", despite being targeted by "an army".

    you know when you have to crack jokes to keep the officers cool. i was cracking hella jokes with a very straight face.

    had to crack jokes, show them im a british lad at heart, be the token black guy that wasnt mad that they sent an army out to stop me

    but its cool. i finessed the whole thing. had an impromptu exhibition outside buckingham palace... told the people to come to my exhibition

    had to bring out the ol' cockney accent on them... bare things

    if i wasnt such a composed chap...

    He said he feared that if he didn't remain calm, he could end up like Jean Charles de Menezes, the unarmed man who was shot dead by police in 2005 after being misidentified as a terrorist suspect.

    when they pulled up all i was thinking was 'i am NOT getting done like Jean Charles de Menezes'

    Fiasco said he was grateful that there were tourists around him when the incident occurred, because he could have ended up "a memory".

    Rossalyn Warren is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Rossalyn Warren at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here