How Rap Artist Laz Tha Boy's Lyrics Helped Land Him in Prison

Prosecutors put a chill on artistic speech.

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Deandre Mitchell is from Richmond, Calif., and Laz Tha Boy is his hip-hop rap music persona. Although he says he writes many different types of rap music, he has found local success in the Northern California area as a gangsta rapper.

Three of Mitchell's rap videos (What You Do It FoIt's Real and Southside Richmond) became evidence used against him in a 2012 grand jury proceeding in which he was indicted on two counts of attempted murder, stemming from two shootings in Antioch, Calif. His case is like a lot of other cases springing up around the United States featuring aspiring rappers who are having their violent rap lyrics used against them. But nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in one of gangster rap music's birthplace, California, where prosecutors aggressively prosecute gangs.

Click here for complete text, download, and links. This story was originally released on November 13, 2014.

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  1. I continue not to understand why the exclusion of relevant evidence is a libertarian cause.

    1. Acosmist|12.27.14 @ 7:43PM|#
      “I continue not to understand why the exclusion of relevant evidence is a libertarian cause.”

      AFAIK, this is correct.
      The man made statements.
      He is not prosecuted for making those statements, those statements are entered into the trial as evidence.

      1. Sure, and while i get where both of you are coming from, from what i gather it seems as though the “evidence” is akin to saying,

        “Your honor, this person once played a gangster on TV, therefore he may actually be involved in ‘gang activity'”

        the implication seems to be that ‘rappers’ are being held to a standard that we’d think ridiculous if applied to a TV/Movie performer, or a ‘proper musician who sang about criminal behavior’*

        *which was actually kind of a thing in the early days of rock&roll;.

        (i’ve only watched about half the video here – everything i’ve seen so for seems to confirm this)

        I don’t have any issue with Reason pointing out that “rap lyrics” are being misused by prosecutors.

        I’d be more irritated if they were overlooking the fact that he might also be guilty of the crimes he’s accused of while doing that. Nothing shown in the video seems to show that he isn’t guilty; the issue seems to be that he’s being convicted using ‘evidence’ that probably has zero actual merit.

        1. GILMORE|12.27.14 @ 9:08PM|#
          “Sure, and while i get where both of you are coming from, from what i gather it seems as though the “evidence” is akin to saying,
          “Your honor, this person once played a gangster on TV, therefore he may actually be involved in ‘gang activity'”
          the implication seems to be that ‘rappers’ are being held to a standard that we’d think ridiculous if applied to a TV/Movie performer, or a ‘proper musician who sang about criminal behavior’*”

          OK, all the way through the vid.
          He is not prosecuted for what he says; this is not a first-amendment issue.
          But you’re right in that the ‘evidence’ is pretty clearly aimed at railroading ‘a black kid who says bad words’.
          And it seems to work.

        2. No, and this is something people get wrong a lot.

          If I entered into evidence “Defendant walked down Main Street 3 mornings out of every week,” as part of a comprehensive case to show that the defendant walked down Main Street the particular morning when the alleged crime was committed, someone taking that piece of evidence in isolation would say, “Oh, so it’s now illegal to walk down the street?!” Of course not, and that’s stupid.

          “Evidence is relevant if:

          (a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and

          (b) the fact is of consequence in determining the action.”

          This is how it should be, actually. Anything with any tendency to move the truth-evaluation of a fact one iota should be allowed unless there’s some really good reason not to allow it (and we have exclusions for that kind of stuff).

          1. Your example would make sense if you said that “singing a song” about walking down Main Street 3 was the same as actually doing it

            IOW, you’ve failed to clarify how a musical performance is ever ‘relevant’ to anything.

    2. Reason is working it’s way into buzzfeed, clickbait territory. The guy wasn’t convicted for his videos but instead used to illustrate the persona he chose to celebrate.

      This has nothing to do with free speech and for Reason to try to imply that is pretty retarded.

      1. Reverendcaptain|12.27.14 @ 11:31PM|#
        “Reason is working it’s way into buzzfeed, clickbait territory. The guy wasn’t convicted for his videos but instead used to illustrate the persona he chose to celebrate.”

        Which is hardly a reason to convict anyone of anything other than maybe bad taste (to me; get off my lawn!)

        1. “Which is hardly a reason to convict anyone of anything other than maybe bad taste (to me; get off my lawn!)”

          He was convicted for shooting a guy, not for a video.

    3. I sat on a jury trial last summer where the defense introduced rap lyrics into evidence in support of its client.

      Basically somebody shot a random guy in a stickup gone bad. The cops find the murder weapon in a car months later and when talking to the people in the car, they finger the defendant as the triggerman.

      All the witnesses are in a shitty gang that also raps. The defendant is not part of this gang.

      The defense basically pointed out that all the witnesses against their client were part of a crew. They also point out that several witnesses had rapped about very specific details of the crime. Details that probably wouldn’t have been known to anyone who hadn’t been intimately involved in the crime.

      The lyrics part of the defense was a minor one, but it does point out that the defense uses the same tactics (at least in some cases).

    1. In Colombia, you don’t turn to making drugs because you have cancer… you make drugs because its the national-pastime

      I would think the Colombian public would find the entire premise of the show incomprehensible.

      1. Fun fact, GILMORE: Pablo Escobar was once given a false-positive on a routine cancer screening. We know how that turned out.

        1. Really? Didn’t know that. How did it turn out? The doctor had his nuts cut off?

          I have mark bowdens book about “Killing Pablo” around here somewhere. I did read Gabriel Marquez book about the kidnappings, which is interesting – the only non-fiction he ever wrote, and many of the people kidnapped were people he knew.

          1. Lighten up, G. It was a joke.

      2. Also = jesse pinkman translated as “Jose Miguel Rosas” is fucking funny.

        “As one of the world’s leading sources of cocaine, Colombia is accustomed to television programmes about drugs, kingpins and mafias, which are popularly known as narcosoaps.”

        which is sort of my point above -being a drug kingpin is passe in Colombia. “Everybody Does It”. The show loses 90% of its ‘everyday guy becomes Pablo Escobar’-appeal, because its almost a cliche in Latin America.

        In a related vein, maybe =

        A preview of how a Hillary Presidency might look:

        International Bitch-Fights Over Nothing

        “Hillary Clinton has questioned the mental health of Cristina Kirchner and asked US diplomats to investigate whether the Argentinian president is taking medication to help her “calm down”.

        The US secretary of state painted Kirchner as a volatile and emotional leader who suffered from “nerves and anxiety”, according to a secret cable sent to the US embassy in Buenos Aires.

        Clinton asked diplomats a series of questions in December last year which could infuriate Kirchner and sabotage a recent rapprochement between Argentina and America.””

        In retort, a similar ‘secret cable’ was leaked by the Argentinians asking if “Hilary was too old, and her ass too fat to be president”

        1. In fairness, Kirchner is a nut. Also, The Hildebeast is too old and her ass is too fat.

          1. Plus, they are both commies. Lets put ’em in a mud pit with hammers and let ’em have it out.

          2. Kirchners a freaking Nut Cluster, no doubt

            I’m just saying = Hillary was a disaster @ Foreign Policy as Sec.State. The fact that she engages in this kinds of petty backbiting at all

            (*particularly when she’s currently *out of office*?? She left office in Feb 2013 – and that story says she was sending ‘secret cables to embassies in Dec 2013?)

            … just reveals how inept and vindictive she is on a personal level. She’s basically the opposite of the kind of character who should be involved in diplomacy, which favors genial, unflappable, flexible personalities.

            1. *I am only now realizing that the story linked above is 4 years old.

              WTF. it was in the sidebar of the breaking bad story. My bad.

        2. The US secretary of state painted Kirchner as a volatile and emotional leader who suffered from “nerves and anxiety”, according to a secret cable sent to the US embassy in Buenos Aires.

          How crazy do you have to be when Hillary Clinton calls you volatile and emotional?

          1. As noted = Kirchner is a fucking screaming nutcase. Seriously. The entire country is a basket case and she’s just the cherry on top.

            That said = they’ve recently discovered oil reserves that make the Bakken shale look like a mud-puddle.

            If they ever got their shit together and liberalized their economy, Argentina (*in theory) could thrive. Unfortunately they seem to think they’re not “retarded commie” enough.

            1. Argentina has recently liberalized its economy a bit, mostly just for oil and gas companies so as to entice investment. The good news is that it appears Kircher’s most likeliest successors are all far more liberal. Argentina doesn’t have a choice between the falling price of oil and gas, tightening credit markets, and disappearing ‘black budget cash’ that comes from Venezuela in suitcases.

              The entire country is a basket case

              You’re not kidding: Argentina has more shrinks per capita than any other country.

              1. For a while they were (IIRC) the seventh richest country in the world. Then Peron took over.

  2. Sounds like a pretty serious plan to me dude.

    http://www.AnonBay.tk

  3. This is stupid even for McCoy’esque overreaching prosecutards!

    Btw, we are winning!!!

    http://www.policeone.com/Offic…..ers-baton/

    Cop shoots unarmed man and NO mention of race?

    Either the shootee was white, the AP didn’t know, or they are cutting HER a break

    :l

    Note: she was placed on ‘administrative duties’ not ‘paid suspension

    One difference AMONG THE MYRIAD OF DIFFERENCES
    is that when an officer is on administrative leave they are not suspended from duty such that they can be called in at any time for any number of duties, be placed on light duty be, asked to do paperwork etc. etc. since they are not suspended. when somebody’s suspended they are separated from employment duties to a complete extent which again differentiates the two

    Also when officers are suspended they must turn in their gun and badge at least in every agency I am aware of where it is on administrative leave that is not the case

    In fact when officers get in shooting in my agencies it is in our policy that they must immediately be given a replacement weapon when their weapon is taken for evidence

    Again, admin leave is not ‘paid suspension’

    Legal dictionary gets it

    Wikipedia gets it

    Police agencies get it

    Courts get it

    Hth

    Smooches.

    1. Hey look Dunphy shows up 4 days later in a totally unrelated thread with several irrelevant non-sequiturs after failing to comprehend the plain language of a statute and making himself look like an even bigger asshole than usual.

    2. I had no idea. Can you explain further the difference between administrative leave and suspension?

      1. Who ya gonna believe, Dunphy’s expertise in being a pig, or code copied and pasted with citations from two separate states?

        1. New Dunphy isn’t a cop. Just a sad troll.

    3. Worst troll ever,

    4. This troll isn’t a cop.

      Every police department in America, including King County Sheriffs, is on high alert.

      None of this “We’re Winning” bullshit. No matter the department, 2/3rds of the shift briefing is about community relations.

      Don’t engage this troll. It’s getting retarded.

      1. “Getting”?

  4. Kerik rocks. I referenced his article right after it came out

    here’s a hint, since Journalists and anticop bigots are in the rarefied few that don’t understand that suspension and admin leave are TOTALLY different

    when on admin leave (at least in the three agencies i have worked), you are STILL (technically) working and getting paid. You are given work HOURS when you must have your dept cell phone available and answer it if dispatch or your supervisor calls. Usually, you keep the same furlough days, but they may change those, but either way you have a SCHEDULE

    obviously, you can’t drink during duty hours, or leave the jurisdiction

    duh

    ENTIRELY different from suspension. While on suspension, you are SEPERATED from the agency. you don’t have to have your dept. cell phone at all. heck, they may TAKE IT while you are suspended, just like your gun, badge, ID card, etc.

    you have no schedule. you aren’t getting paid, thus you dont have to be sober at any time /available for work, answer the phone at all, etc.

  5. it is a PUNISHMENT. admin leave is not

    period. full stop

    people are placed on admin leave for a metric assload of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with any sort of investigation whatsoever.

    suspension also triggers due process rights, etc. admin leave does not. heck, suspension triggers PROPERTY rights (see: loudermill etc.) since courts have ruled we have a “property right” to our job.

    they are entirely different

    no cop has ever been suspended with pay -iow, he has no schedule and furlough, he is completely seperated from the agency for the period of suspension , he has no work schedule NOR no work RESPONSIBILITIES.

    an officer on suspension can go to canada if he wants

    unless an officer gets special permission they certainly cant jaunt up to canada during a work day during admin leave

    again, DUH

    legal dictionary gets it
    scotusblog gets it
    wikipedia gets

    anticop bigots and some journalists – don’t

    want to understand why polling data routinely shows the american public places journalists near the lowest rung in terms of respect and perceived professionalism?

    it’s stuff like journalists either intentionally or unintentionally (often i suspect it’s the former, but in cases of extreme stupidity it’s the latter) saying an officer on admin leave is on “paid suspension”

    it’s utter shit n stuff man!

    we are winning by the way

  6. it is idiotic even for a bigot to say that since we are on high alert, we aren’t winning.

    sometimes, the most dangerous time is when a group realizes they are losing. more people are going to be likely to lash out of frustration etc

    far more than 1% of this nation hates cops and even if it was only 1%, if even a tiny percentage of them are willing to outright assassinate cops sitting in their cars (a la benton in SPD a few years back- pissed off about… police brutality), you are GODDAMN FUCKING RIGHT WE ARE ON HIGH ALERT

    HERE’S A FUCKING HINT, GENIUS

    WE WERE ON HIGH ALERT AFTER CLEMONS KILLED THE 4 COPS IN LAKEWOOD AND THEN GOT AWAY

    THAT’S ONE FUCKING GUY

    AND BY THE WAY, HE DID TRY TO AMBUSH AN SPD COP BY LEAVING A STOLEN CAR WITH THE HOOD UP ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

    THANK GOD, THE COP, WHO I KNOW PERSONALLY AND IS A CALIBRE PRESS KIND OF COP, WAS USING EXCELLENT OFFICER SAFETY AND KEPT HIS EYES PEELED AS HE EXAMINED THE CAR, CHECKED IT FOR 10-63 ETC.

    AND WHEN CLEMONS APPROACHED THE SCENE, HE GAVE HIM A CHANCE TO SHOW HIS HANDS AND THEN BLEW THAT FUCKSTICK AWAY WHEN HE REACHED FOR HIS WAISTBAND

    FUCK HIM

    AWESOME SHOOT

    REMEMBER, THAT WAS ONE GUY

    YOU ARE GODDAMN RIGHT WE ARE ON HIGH ALERT

    WE ARE ALWAYS CONDITION YELLOW AT A MINIMUM, BUT THESE DAYS – WAY ABOVE THAT

    1. Definitely condition yellow.

  7. Feds often work with local cops on task forces

    When I applied, since we had to work under fed supervisors and were considered as quasi SA’s and given concurrent jurisdiction, we had to pass federal security screen

    One of the questions

    1) have you ever been placed on suspension and if so, why?

    No, officers who had been placed on ADMIN LEAVE did not answer yes BECAUSE IT IS NOT A SUSPENSION

    it is non disciplinary, often completely unrelated to any sort of conduct issue AND we retained duty hours, furlough days etc. SINCE WE WERE NOT SUSPENDED while on AL

    SUSPENDED OFFICERS have no duty responsibilities ever…

    AL OFFICERS must comply with various regs that apply only to those currently working and not SUSPENDED

    HTH

    1. Blah, blah, blah, blah….. you have been repeatedly proven wrong. Watching you go into hysterics over this issue is hilarious. BTW, if I knock on your door at 3am and you answer with a gun would it be okay for me to shoot you?

      SMOOCHES slaver

      1. No it can’t. It’s just posting the same nonsense in multiple threads trying to hide from you

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  9. until I saw the paycheck which said $8467 , I be certain that my friend woz truley taking home money in their spare time at there labtop. . there neighbor haz done this for under twenty months and just took care of the debts on their place and bought a top of the range Mazda MX-5 .
    Look At This………………..www.netjob70.com

  10. There seems to be the strangest connection between murder and rap music, how many “aspiring rockers” do you hear about being shot to death?

  11. before I looked at the draft which was of $8158 , I have faith that my brothers friend woz like actualey earning money part time on there computar. . there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for only about 23 months and at present took care of the mortgage on their place and got a great new Lancia Straton .

    see here now==== == http://WWW.WORK4HOUR.COM

  12. just before I saw the receipt which said $5461 , I didnt believe …that…my mom in-law woz like they say actually bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on there house and purchased themselves a Audi Quattro . this link………..www.netjob70.com

  13. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  14. just before I saw the bank draft 4 $8792 , I did not believe that my cousin could realy earning money parttime on there computar. . there neighbour has done this 4 only about nineteen months and resently took care of the morgage on their appartment and bourt a top of the range Alfa Romeo . more tips here……….

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  15. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  16. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  17. I Got Hooked On Having An Online Business Almost A Decade Ago When I Created An Online Course And Made My First.
    —–http://tinyurl.com/cashclick1

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