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by Hank Willow, staff reporter [October 26, 2002]




[]  Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam -- which reportedly hired D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad (aka John Allen Williams) to protect the Million Man March in October 1995 -- also provided on-set security the following year for the Gramercy Pictures's film Gridlock'd. That's the shocking claim of an extra who worked on the film, as told to the Hollywood Investigator.

"I was an extra in one of the scenes shot for Gridlock'd in downtown Los Angeles," stated the extra exclusively to the Hollywood Investigator. "Most of the day I waited in the 'holding pen' with the other extras, but I also did street scenes with [Gridlock'd stars] Tim Roth and Tupac Shakur.

"I noticed some black guards on the set with red and white shoulder patches on their jackets that had a star and crescent moon. The patches also had the letters 'NOI.' I didn't ask anyone about those patches, but because of what I'd heard about rappers like Tupac Shakur, and because the patches looked Islamic, I figured 'NOI' stood for Nation of Islam."

Although the Nation of Islam's seal online bears its entire name, rather than merely "NOI", the seal's "white star and crescent moon against red" otherwise matches the extra's description of the patch as seen on the set.

While Hollywood films normally provide private security guards for location shooting (usually off-duty police officers), it's also common for stars to supplement set security with their own personal bodyguards -- and Gridlock'd star Tupac Shakur is known to have associated with Nation Of Islam bodyguards.

A 1995 Vibe magazine article, reprinted on an unofficial Tupac fan site, reports that Tupac Shakur was escorted by Nation of Islam bodyguards while attending his Manhattan trial on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse, and weapons possession. The Vibe article is credited to reporters Eric Berman, Rob Kenner, Ian Landau, Danyel Smith, Joe Tirella, Josh Tyrangiel, Mimi Valdes, and Elizabeth Yow.

It is strangely ironic that security-conscious Hollywood has permitted Nation of Islam bodyguards onto its sets -- especially since alleged D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad is now reported to have been an NOI guard.

Adding further irony, NOI bodyguards proved ineffectual in protecting Tupac Shakur, who was later shot and killed in Las Vegas on September 6, 1996. He never lived to see the 1997 release of Gridlock'd.

Gridlock'd is a gritty drama about two drug addicts (Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth) who attempt to break free of their deadly dope habits.

Tupac Shakur's co-star, Tim Roth, was later reported to be troubled by working with actor Charlton Heston on the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes because of Heston's NRA activism and opposition to gun control.

Copyright 2002 by


Hank Willow is a Los Angeles based tabloid reporter who investigates Hollywood scams and Tinseltown's occult underbelly. Read about his adventures in tabloid journalism in Hollywood Witches.

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