Morrissey 'terrorised' by Rome policeman

NEW YORK • British rock singer Morrissey (above) said on Wednesday that he had been "terrorised" by a police officer in Rome who held him at gunpoint for half an hour on a busy street.

The 58-year-old, a long-time lover of Rome who has returned to the Italian capital to record an album, said the officer unlocked his gun and "screamed into my face" as a crowd of more than 100 people watched.

Morrissey's nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, a photographer who often takes footage of him, posted a picture of the officer and wrote his motorcycle licence-plate number on Facebook. "The police officer pictured below terrorised Morrissey for 35 minutes demanding 'papers'. Morrissey had no papers," Rayner wrote.

In a statement, Morrissey accused the officer of a "deliberate act of terror" and said he had not broken any law. "I believe he recognised me and wanted to frighten me. I did not back down even though I believed he was about to shoot me," he said. "I urge people to beware of this dangerously aggressive officer. He might kill you."

The singer has frequently criticised the police, both in his music and offstage. In 2015, he said he was "sexually assaulted" by an officer at San Francisco International Airport, who allegedly touched him during a security check.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2017, with the headline 'Morrissey 'terrorised' by Rome policeman'. Print Edition | Subscribe