Funk Pioneer George Clinton Arrested

By | December 9, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Funk music pioneer George Clinton was arrested and charged with drug possession after allegedly telling an officer he had cocaine in his pocket.

Clinton, of Tallahassee, was arrested Saturday and bonded out of jail over the weekend, according to jail officials, who wouldn’t release any other information. Clinton’s lawyer, Shoshana Zisk of San Francisco, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Clinton, 63, who headed the funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic – and the collaboration later known as P-Funk – in the 1970s and 1980s is considered a father of the genre. In 1983, Clinton’s solo record “Atomic Dog,” hit number one on the R&B charts.

Tallahassee Police said an officer noticed a man sitting by himself in the passenger seat of a car in a gas station parking lot about 2 a.m. Saturday and approached to talk to him.

When the officer got to the car, the man, later determined to be Clinton, tried to hide an item he was holding, dropping it between the seats, said Tallahassee Police spokesman Stewart Clendinen.

Clinton started to reach into his pocket and the officer asked him if he had anything in his pocket that might be dangerous, Clendinen said.

Clinton allegedly responded “I’ve got a little cocaine.”

The item he is accused of dropping between the seats turned out be a crack pipe, police said.

Clinton was charged with one felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of possession of the pipe, the Tallahassee Democrat first reported for Tuesday papers.

A call to George Clinton Enterprises for comment Monday went unanswered and Clinton’s home number is unlisted.

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