ACLU Considers Case Of Man Jailed For Rap Lyrics
The ACLU is considering the case of a Lakeland, Florida man, who has been sentenced to two years in prison over lyrics in a rap song.
In February, a song by rapper Antavio T.O. Johnson was posted to a MySpace page run by local label Hood Certified Entertainment.
Johnson was already in jail for violating his probation from a 2007 cocaine possession charge when the track Kill Me a Cop, was posted to Hood Certifieds page.
A Polk County gang detective unit found the song on the page and immediately began an investigation, which resulted in state prosecutors charging Johnson with two counts of corruption by threat of a public servant.
Lakeland Police spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said that officers took the lyrics serious because Johnson named checked two officers, including a deputy who killed in 2006.
Johnson pleaded no contest on July 24 and was sentenced to two years in state prison for the offenses.
Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, told The Ledger his office is considering the case, because it was unclear if the lyrics were credible acts of violence.
The owner of Hood Certified Entertainment took responsibility for posting the controversial song while Johnson was jailed.
Daniel Barajas, 27, said that he didnt realize Johnson mentioned the officers and that he posted the track because he liked the beat.