By The Associated Press

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Hip-hop star Boosie BadAzz says he was pepper-sprayed by a mall guard in Mississippi because he’s black, but the guard and police say otherwise.

The Sun Herald reported Thursday on pretrial testimony in Boosie’s federal lawsuit. The celebrity entered a Dillard’s store with about 20 onlookers during Biloxi’s 2017 Black Beach Weekend. Biloxi officer Matt Howard says he was called to assist with the “unruly crowd.”

Hip-hop star Boosie BadAzz (Twitter Photo)

Guard Glen Kerley says he pepper-sprayed Boosie’s assistant, who he says clenched his fists after being asked to leave. Kerley and Howard say the group then attacked Kerley outside.

Testimony indicates that Kerley repeatedly pepper-sprayed Boosie. Tammy Cotton, who worked for Dillard’s at the time, testified that Kerley was known for being aggressive to black shoppers.

A settlement meeting is set for Jan. 17.

___

This story corrects the spelling of the rapper’s name in the headline from Boozie to Boosie.

___

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com