Cops Kill Concert Because Rapper Chief Keef's Hologram Somehow Threatens Public Safety

Stunning contempt for the First Amendment


Chief Keef

Police officers shut down a benefit concert in Hammond, Indiana, after controversial rapper Chief Keef began performing via hologram. The town's thuggish mayor attempted to justify his sorry act of censorship by lamely claiming that the rapper's views were a threat to public safety and a violation of Hammond's friendship with the neighboring city of Chicago.

Keef has a history of rapping about the gang lifestyle, according to The New York Times. He's also wanted for failing to make child support payments. He currently resides in California and opted to participate in Craze Fest—a hip hop music festival that took place on Saturday in Hammond—via hologram. He began his performance by calling for an end to violence, intending to raise money for victims of inner-city warfare.

But none of that mattered to the cops, who brought a swift end to the concert moments after Keef's image appeared on-screen:

Thomas M. McDermott Jr., the mayor of Hammond, said in an interview that his office became aware of the surprise performance, which was also streamed live online, through social media. All of the Craze Fest acts—which included Riff Raff, Lil Bibby and Tink—had been previously vetted because the event was held at a public park, he said.

"I know nothing about Chief Keef," Mayor McDermott, 46, said. "All I'd heard was he has a lot of songs about gangs and shooting people—a history that's anti-cop, pro-gang and pro-drug use. He's been basically outlawed in Chicago, and we're not going to let you circumvent Mayor Emanuel by going next door." (The Chicago mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)…

"It's not like we're anti-rap," Mayor McDermott said. "It's just this specific case. Gang violence in Chicago is the reality right now, and I'm not going to invite someone that might be a threat to public safety."

If Keef had appeared in person, the police would have been justified in arresting him on the child support charges. But it's quite a stretch to pretend that a holographic projection of the rapper had somehow put the public at risk. Stripped of this absurd excuse, it's clear the government only censored Keef because it doesn't like his views. That's an obvious abuse of police power as well as a likely violation of the First Amendment.

The Washington Post's Eugene Volokh writes:

The government may impose reasonable content-neutral restrictions on speech in such venues, such as sound level restrictions, and may charge money for the use of the venues. But the government may not restrict speech because of its viewpoint, or the viewpoint that the speakers had expressed elsewhere, which seems to have happened here….

Unless I'm missing something here, then, this is a pretty clear First Amendment violation on the part of the City of Hammond. And it seems to me that, in America, performances by controversial singers can't be "basically outlawed," even "in Chicago."

Evidently the city of Chicago has such an antagonistic relationship with the First Amendment that even neighboring municipalities are afraid to extend free speech rights to political enemies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Not even holograms are safe. 

NEXT: Cops as Criminals

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  1. This mayor has a point, a Darryl Strawberry hologram baseball card caused me to do blow and bang hookers.

    1. I bet that card sells for a lot!

      1. Only because the owner has a lot of debt to pay off, otherwise they’d be eager to rid themselves of it.

  2. I hate Indiana Nazis.

    Hopefully, the rapper in question will Keef on Keefin’ on…

    1. HOW can you defend Keef’s hologram this way??! Why, just last night I was brutally robbed, forcibly disrobed, and viciously raped by this very same hologram!!!

  3. “He’s been basically outlawed in Chicago, and we’re not going to let you circumvent Mayor Emanuel by going next door.”

    Let’s see, here’s Bouvier’s Law Dictionary for 1856 –

    “OUTLAWRY, Eng. law. The act of being put out of the protection of the law
    by process regularly sued out against a person who is in contempt in
    refusing to become amenable to the court having jurisdiction…
    “2. Outlawry may take place in criminal or in civil cases….
    “3. In the United States, outlawry in civil cases is unknown, and if
    there are any cases of outlawry in criminal cases they are very rare.”


    1. And before you are outlawed, you have to be summoned five times.

      And even after you’re outlawed, people can only kill you in the course of trying to arrest you.

      And I found nothing in my sources about holograms.


      This is why I will never vote Republican – the Republican rulers of Chicago and its suburbs have no respect for the rule of law where social issues are concerned.

      1. /sarc

      2. That such an outlandishly authoritarian, spectacularly un-American retard could be elected to public office in the United States boggles my mind, notwithstanding the thousands of bureaucrats and politicians likewise inclined being in power also. Chicago and its general locality are one of America’s exclusive group of totalitarian singularities, where corrupt, near-omnipresent governments incrementally enslave the population.

        Frankly, the only valid response in this country to a brigade of cops showing up to shut down a concert because their mayor dislikes the content of one of its performers’ songs is to resist violently. Fuck these cops, and fuck the City of Hammond. Additionally, fuck the sheep who elected this asshat to office.

      3. You forget that there are some sensible socons like Tipper Gore that only wanted to put warning labels on these acts. Unfortunately, she’s out of politics. I can only imagine the ramped up level good she would have done as First Lady.

  4. Does anyone, ever say: “it’s a free country” anymore?

    1. The cops when it comes to killing and abusing people.

      1. “Open season” sounds more like it.

  5. Name that party!

    Mayor McDermott of Hammond, Indiana, is a Democrat who “tacitly endorsed” Hillary in 2008.

    (from Wikipedia)


    It’s a good thing that Democrats are sound on social issues.

    1. (this piece of sarcasm is aimed at the staffers, not at the commenters, who know better)

    2. The Democratic Party of the United States is Satanically awful, and completely irredeemable. It’s pure, undiluted poison. Avoid it, its supporters, and the individuals it nominates for election to public office like a herd of zombies.

      1. “Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.”

        ? Ayn Rand

    3. Its about time someone has unmasked Reason magazine as the Soros-funded Team Blue Apologia it truly is.

  6. Aren’t Democrats supposed to be anti-cop and pro-drug?

    1. Don’t think I’ve heard of any pro-drug Ds. And they’re only anti-cop if there’s a racial element involved.

    2. Cops enforce laws, and laws are the means by which Democrats enact their totalitarian designs. They love cops. Their agitation against individual cops is occasional, and often a pretense.

      1. Always a pretense. They’ll let their useful idiots riot against cops in Baltimore and Ferguson, but the eventual Democratic answer will be more (unionized, minority) cops.

  7. Chief Keef – mildly distasteful.
    Actions of the gestapo and their nazi overloads – nauseatingly repugnant.

  8. How in the fuck does one appear by hologram?

    1. Take the turbolift to the bridge and I’ll show you.

      1. You had to find the one shot they improved, even if it was by accident, didn’t you?

  9. Fuck McDermott. I don’t know if you guys remember but last year in Hammond a cop pulled a gun on the passenger of a vehicle who was (after being prompted to) pulling an ID out of his backpack. Car windows were shattered, people got tased, kids were freaking out in the backseat, business as usual. McDermott was fully supportive of his thugs. I live a few towns over here in NWI.

  10. This isn’t a likely 1st amendment violation, it’s an obvious one. I love how mayor douchenugget thinks the public forum thing helps his case when in fact it just makes this more unconstitutional. I’m appalled.

    1. Forgot to add I fucking hate chief keef so if I’m on his side that’s saying something.

  11. OT

    Man* confronts problematic gender-issues inherent in cooking food with a grill.

    He repeatedly mentions along the way that he is a PhD candidate. I assume his thesis will be on the many reasons men should pee sitting down

    1. I don’t think he has to worry about being too masculine.

    2. I just puked in my mouth a little bit. He’s putting us on, isn’t he? Surely you can’t be serious…

      1. At this point he might as well call himself Caitlyn.

    3. I ran across a piece on the Internet a couple years ago about how silly it is for men to act like grilling is a man’s purview. The author pointed out that women, a few generations ago, were in charge of cooking — as well as in charge of stoking a kitchen stove, regulating the temperature of said stove, keeping it going all day so that water could be boiled at any time, cleaning out it’s ashes, and all the other complicated things it took to keep the old cast iron thing going.

      I’m too lazy to google, but I assume propane stoves far outnumber charcoal grills today. So, I’d be a bit embarrassed to go outside, turn on the gas, and act like I was some caveman who was charring the latest chunk of bison I killed.

      1. What part of the world did this person come from?

        1. The paaaaaaaaaaaaaasssst!!!!!!!!

    4. Slate of course. I do think it’s nice they hire the differently abled.

    5. One weird thing I’ve noticed is that at public parks with grills it’s usually the women who end up doing the cooking.

  12. Unless I’m missing something here, then, this is a pretty clear First Amendment violation on the part of the City of Hammond. And it seems to me that, in America, performances by controversial singers can’t be “basically outlawed,” even “in Chicago.”

    Unless I’m missing something here, City of Hammond leadership will suffer zero consequences for their unconstitutional actions. They likely would suffer consequences from City of Chicago leadership if they failed to show adequate fealty. So I ask you, why not shut it down?

    1. What, exactly, could the mayor of Chicago do to punish the mayor of another city in a different state?

      1. “Vito, about that favor…”

      2. Nice suburb you got there. Hate to see all the utilities shut off at once for maintenance. And oh, sorry about all those unmarked parked by your church, and your kids school…we got a bit of parking problem over here. I’m sure you understand

      3. Not give him comp tix to the next ICP show in Chicago?

      4. I suppose it’s possible holding public office in Hammond is as far as they want to rise in the Democratic Party.

  13. Cop 1: “Hey! I recognize that guy from a wanted poster!”
    Cop 2: “Let’s get him!”
    Cop 1 attempts flying tackle only to grasp at beams of light.
    Cop 2: “Oh man! It’s just a hologram!”

    1. I wish that would have happened…and been filmed.

  14. “Cops kill concert because rapper threatened public safety” is a much better headline to read in the morning than “Cops kill rapper because concert threatened public safety.” I expect to see this article under “bouquets” in the next paper edition of Reason.

    1. “Cops kill rapper to improve his street cred.”

    2. Maybe they’ll all start performing via hologram.

  15. “I know nothing about Chief Keef,” Mayor McDermott, 46, said. “All I’d heard was he has a lot of songs about gangs and shooting people?a history that’s anti-cop, pro-gang and pro-drug use. He’s been basically outlawed in Chicago, and we’re not going to let you circumvent Mayor Emanuel by going next door.”

    Mayor McDermott is such an asswipe.

    How much of an asswipe is he?

    Mayor McDermott is such an asswipe that he’s created more publicity and more sympathy for an anti-cop, pro-gang, and pro-drug use rapper–than that rapper ever would have enjoyed if Mayor McDermott wasn’t such an asswipe.

    I wouldn’t even know who Chief Keef was if Mayor McDermott wasn’t such an asswipe!

  16. the police would have been justified in arresting him on the child support charges

    Do you really think so? Is jail the prudent response to failure to pay child support? Does it make it easier to pay or something?

  17. The powers that be announce that the rapper is past due in child support payments and then prevent him from earning money. This is yet another example of typical government obtuseness. I hope that he sues the city of Hammond and takes city hall as part of the judgment.

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