2 Sentenced In Threatening Rap Video Case
PITTSBURGH – About a dozen Pittsburgh Police officers were in the courtroom Thursday as two men accused of threatening police by way of a music video were sentenced to jail.
Jamal Knox, who formed a record label, had a following as a rapper. But one song that made it onto Youtube attracted more attention than usual.
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.”
It was a condemnation of police citing specific officers and referring to Richard Poplawski, who was convicted of killing three officers.
Knox and Rashee Beasley were both convicted on charges including terroristic threats and intimidation of witnesses for some of the lyrics in the video that hit the Internet.
But Knox was sentenced to two to six years while Beasley was sentenced to one to three years.
An additional conviction of possession with intent to deliver added one to three years to Knox’s sentence. He admitted in court to battling a heroin addiction.
Most of the public focus though was on the video.
Knox told the judge he’s also made music about non-violence; and that while he didn’t intend for this video to be released, he felt he had to maintain his rapper image. But he accepted responsibility for it.
“He had no intention of making this song, in the format that it was, in public,” said Knox’s defense attorney, Al Burke. “He had no intentions of bringing harm to the police, but certainly the lyrics reflect his attention to things that have happened in the community. In addition, the court was pointing out that there were other charges that Mr. Knox was convicted of and that that’s what the sentence was reflecting and it was not reflecting a sentence just about his song.”
Both men have been in jail for just over 10 months and will be credited for time served.