Cops came down on rapper Nipsey Hussle in a big way Tuesday night in the middle of a Trayvon Martin protest rally  … handcuffing him after suspecting he was brandishing a gun.

Law enforcement sources tell us … LAPD cops saw Nipsey doing something that made them believe he was walking around with a firearm.  They descended on the rapper and cuffed him, but quickly determined he did NOT have a gun and they let him go.

It’s unclear if Hussle was part of the rally, which took place in Leimert Park — the scene of violence the night before.

Check the video at TMZ.

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