The video reportedly appeared on Instagram late last week. It’s filmed from the perspective of an anonymous motorist who has pulled up behind a LAPD patrol car. As a police officer steps out of the car, the camera moves to show a pistol in the hand of the man behind the camera.
It’s an unsettling video, to be sure, and many took it to be a not-so-veiled threat against law enforcement.
"It’s completely frightening, and I know that a lot of the wives are scared," an anonymous member of the LAPD Wives Association told a local CBS affiliate. "The hatred toward the officers isn’t going to accomplish anything. It’s just going to create a bigger divide."
Law enforcement said it was taking the situation seriously, and on Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced the arrest of a "secondary suspect" and the expected surrender of a "primary" suspect.
Those suspects have not been identified, but they are evidently not the danger they were originally believed to be.
"We believe, based on interviews that the video was made not as a precursor to an attack on a police officer," Beck said, according to the LA Times, "but in a manner to support the credibility of the person in the video for a rap career."
A statement released by the police department reaffirmed the belief that the video was meant as some kind of poorly-produced promo.
"The investigation revealed that the film was made by members of an early 1990s rap group no longer in fashion," the statement read.
"The film was made and posted on social media to ignite a comeback by the rap group."
Police have also not revealed the name of the group.
While the video turned out to be decidedly benign, it was still enough to upend the LAPD’s day-to-day. According to the chief, officers who typically patrolled alone drove in pairs over the weekend. The investigation was also carried out by the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, a team typically reserved for more high-profile cases.