Deandre Mitchell was charged with attempted mυrder, which, given the crime rate in some urban areas, is not particularly noteworthy. What is striking about Mitchell’s case is that the strongest evidence against him were his rap lyrics.
In the rap video presented to the grand jury, Mitchell was talking about committing mυrders and there were AK-47s present.
Even though there was no physical evidence linking Mitchell to the crime, he was still indicted after the grand jury watched the rap videos.
Mitchell, known as Laz Tha Boy, admits to the viοlent rap lyrics, but says it was all an act. Mitchell, a California native, says the lyrics and rap name are all a part of a persona that he uses to sell records.
“It was just a way for me to express myself and be able to show the world that I [could] do something else. Try to give the people around me the motivation to say we could come from nothing,” said Mitchell when interviewed by libertarian outlet Reason TV at a detention center.
Mitchell can’t understand why he’s facing attempted mυrder charges stemming from two 2012 shoοtings in Antioch, Calif. even though there is no evidence linking him to the crime. The videos in question were also made years before the attempted mυrders, making it impossible for prosecutors to allege that they were some sort of explicit or implicit threαt.
“It’s supposed to be freedom of speech. So when I use my freedom of speech and voice my opinion then you all turn around and try and use it against me like this is who I am as a person,” says Mitchell.
As Reason TV notes, however, this isn’t the only case where a black man has been prosecuted using viοlent rap videos as evidence.
“Deandre is the family man, I have two kids and everything. But when I do music, I build my character to be Laz Tha Boy,” says Mitchell. “If you get around me and really understand me and see what is going on you see really it’s just an image, it’s not who I am.”
Watch the video below: