Justices take up free speech case of anti-police rap lyrics

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in the case of Jamal Knox, who served state prison time for the song he recorded after being arrested on drug charges

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in the case of Jamal Knox, who served state prison time for the song he recorded after being arrested on drug charges.
Courtesy: KDKA

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s highest court will decide whether a Pittsburgh man’s anti-police rap lyrics are protected free expression or amount to witness intimidation and making terroristic threats.

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in the case of Jamal Knox, who served state prison time for the song he recorded after being arrested on drug charges.

Knox was charged after an officer found the YouTube video, performed by Knox under the name Mayhem Mal of the Ghetto Superstar Committee.

Some of the lyrics include: “They bring us no peace that’s why I keep my heat when I’m roaming through the streets.”

And: “Let’s kill these cops ‘cause they don’t do us no good. Pulling your Glock, oh cause I live in the hood.”

The video taunts by name two officers involved in the drug arrest and mentions Richard Poplawski, who’s on death row for killing three Pittsburgh police officers in 2009.

Knox’s lawyer says he wasn’t trying to intimidate the officers and didn’t intend the video to be posted online.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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