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Andy Kennedy: Arrest 'national incident':

A Cincinnati police cruiser video obtained by WLWT-TV (Channel 5) over the weekend shows Andy Kennedy’s arrest late last year - and it includes the coach declaring his arrest a "national incident."



“It’s not worth it. Please trust me. Please trust me on this. This is going to be a national incident, sir,” Kennedy tells the Cincinnati police officer at one point.

Kennedy, now the head basketball coach at the University of Mississippi, was arrested early Dec. 18 shortly after he and other Ole Miss basketball and athletic staffers left the Lodge Bar in downtown Cincinnati.

• Watch the video

According to police, after a drunk William Armstrong, Ole Miss’ director of operations, was thrown out of the bar, Kennedy hailed a cab.

Moments later, when driver Mohamed Moctar Jiddou refused Kennedy’s request to pick up four friends, saying it was too many people for him in his four-seat cab, an argument ensued in which Kennedy allegedly called the driver racist names and punched him.

Kennedy, UC’s interim coach in 2005-06, denied the allegations and responded the next day by filing the defamation suit against the driver and a valet who witnessed the argument and supports Jiddou’s version of events.

The video starts as Cincinnati police officers order Kennedy and Armstrong out of their car.

“I’m here for the Big East SEC challenge,” Kennedy was heard saying on the video, WLWT reports. “I’m playing Louisville and Rick Pitino tomorrow. I was the UC head coach. I am going to be on national television. If I’m not standing there at 9 p.m. tomorrow, this is an international altercation.”

Officers were in no mood to talk, according to WLWT.

“Can I speak to you, sir?” Kennedy asked.

“You turn on me one more time, I’m going to start making some charges. Do you understand me?” the officer responded.

“I want to talk to you,” Kennedy insisted.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” continued the officer. “You are being taken to the scene. If you are positively ID’s, you will go to the justice center and be charged with assault.”

Jiddou said Kennedy punched him in the face. In court papers, Kennedy is accused of calling Jiddou “Osama bin Laden,” “Saddam Hussein” and a “Sand n-word.”

“There was a verbal altercation,” Kennedy told the officer on the tape, WLWT reports. “They wouldn’t allow one more guy in the cab, and the consequence is I get arrested and we have this issue?”

“That’s what’s going on right now,” the officer replied.

“That makes no sense, sir,” Kennedy said.

Later in the tape, Kennedy can be heard pleading with police more than once to let him go, WLWT reports. Kennedy was charged with misdemeanor assault.

“I’m begging you. I’m looking at you. Please look at me. This is…this is a major deal man,” Kennedy pleaded, according to WLWT.

“I understand, sir, but if I don’t do this, I could lose my job,” said the officer.

“It’s not worth it. Please trust me. Please trust me on this. This is going to be a national incident, sir,” continued Kennedy.

“Sir, everything you’re saying right now is being recorded,” replied the officer.

“No, I understand that,” said Kennedy.

“You think we’ve never arrested somebody that’s made national media? …We deal with the Bengals all the time,” said the officer.

Kennedy has filed a defamation lawsuit against Jiddou and the valet, Michael Strother.

An amendment was filed to the suit a few days later adding that Kennedy’s wife to the suit and a claim of “loss of consortium,” or damaging the couple’s married life.

Jiddou and Strother have filed countersuits seeking damages from the Kennedys.


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