Law enforcement officers in Baltimore might want to think twice about the secondary work they pick up.
Officers at Operational Police Protective Services LLC were left dumfounded after Nick Cannon and his MTV crew allegedly utilized their services and then refused to settle the bill. Now keep in mind, these celebrities are idolized by kids all across the country. And this is what we’re teaching them.
The company was contacted in December 2017 by a producer for the show, who was reaching out to coordinate a last minute armed motorcade for the celebrity from a Baltimore arena to Washington DC. The original protection agency had apparently cancelled and the crew was in need of secure transportation. Due to the time constraint, a verbal contract was reached with an agreement to finalize details with an invoice following the event.
Law Enforcement Today was told that the group fulfilled their duties (as cops tend to do), safely guiding Cannon and his entourage to their destination. The agency left an invoice with the producers and were assured that it would be handled right away. Weeks passed and no payment was received. The CEO of the security agency, Eric Janik, tried to reach out to the producer. After multiple attempts to reach the MTV employees, it became clear to him that the MTV crew was trying to dodge his calls.
Janik was finally able to get in contact with Valarie Barney-Benning, a long time producer of acts like Kevin Hart and Mike Epps. Janik stated that during their call, Barney-Benning gave mixed messages about paying up, ranging from, “We already sent you the check,” to “We’re not paying!”
As if bailing on the bill wasn’t bad enough, Janik claims that he overheard a voice in the background during the call say, “Man, f**k the police.” In an exclusive interview with Law Enforcement Today, Janik told us, “These are the people our kids are watching on TV and looking up to. They’re teaching them that they can just do whatever they want. There’s just too much going on with law enforcement lately.”
Valarie Barney-Benning was unable to be reached for comment.
Here’s our take: A few years ago MTV was valued at over $6 billion. The entertainment company should easily be able to cough up a few thousand dollars for services that they retained. Ignoring the bill isn’t just showing blatant disrespect for our officers, it sets the tone for how others can act in the future. Does anyone else see the irony of a celebrity making rude and inflammatory comments about the very person guarding their life? If the attitude towards law enforcement in our country doesn’t change soon, we don’t want to be around to see what happens.
Hopefully the next time Nick Cannon needs armed security, he’s unable to find it.
As of the publishing of this article, the bill remains unpaid.
– Dan McIsaac