Morrissey has claimed he was “terrorized” by a police officer in Rome. The former Smiths singer is said to have been held him at gunpoint for half an hour.
Morrissey is understood to be in the Italian capital to record a new album, the follow-up to 2014’s World Peace Is None Of Your Business. His 2006 album, Ringleader Of The Tormentors, was recorded in Rome under the production eye of long-time David Bowie producer Tony Visconti.
The singer claims that the police officer unlocked his gun and “screamed into my face” in front of a crowd of around 100 bystanders.
Morrissey’s photographer nephew, Same Esty Rayner, posted a picture of the police officer and made public his motorcycle number on his Facebook page.
Writing on Facebook, Rayner said: “Last night [July 4] at 7.45 on Via del Corso in Rome, the Police Officer pictured below terrorized Morrissey for 35 minutes demanding ‘papers’. Morrissey had no papers.
“The Officer then said ‘I know who you are.’ Morrissey replied: ‘I know the law, I know my rights, and you have no reason to stop me.’ The Officer shouted very loudly and a crowd of over 100 people gathered. The Officer held his gun throughout the confrontation. After 35 minutes, Morrissey walked away, and the Officer did not follow.”
Morrissey added: "This was a deliberate act of terror by this Officer, who had no personal identification, but whose Polizia 113 motor-bike had the plate G2458. I had not broken the law or acted suspiciously.
“The officer unlocked his gun and held it as he screamed into my face. Some people came to my rescue. This happened outside the Nike store, and many people filmed the obviously insane officer. I believe he recognized me and wanted to frighten me. I did not back down even though I believed he was about to shoot me.
“I urge people to beware of this dangerously aggressive Officer. He might kill you."
This isn’t Morrissey’s first run-in with the law. Last year, the singer claimed he’d been “sexually assaulted” by an officer who was carrying out a security check at San Francisco International Airport.