Washington police have charged four people with criminal conduct in an investigation into allegations they posted and traded messages about an anti-white rant made by a rapper during a preliminary hearing.
In a case that gained notoriety for young people using social media to further their political agenda and challenge the power of the police, the three men and one woman will be charged with conspiracy and conspiracy to witness an offense.
The men face 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. If convicted, they could also face fines of $250,000, according to the police.
The story of P-Funk legend George Clinton started with a birthday cake, but his reputation has been tainted with allegations that he hired a private detective to infiltrate musicians protesting the Killer Mike show at Union Station. Clinton denies the allegations, which have driven some to stage his shows and memorabilia on protest signs or posters.
Police looked into reports that the four defendants posted about the hearing to Ziplaids.com, an Instagram site. The posts included the hashtag #KillerMikeMonopoly, #KillerMikeProtests, and #KillerMikeChallenge, police said. In one post, a user called Joseph M. took credit for the posts and said: “Whenever I see Killer Mike on stage [w]hoopla!” A police report obtained by The Washington Post shows the defendant who shared the post had uploaded a caption that said: “Lol then if the pay music is a disaster I will be the first to let him know this got nothing to do with his entertainment.”
In another post, police noted a picture shared by a user named yageriefusslin. Police wrote: “the officer commented on the apparent message from the user: ‘only a white to white interaction.’ The officer commented on the apparent message from the user: ‘only a white to white interaction.’ ”
The founder of Ziplaids.com, Alex da Kid, told The Post in a statement, “We strive to provide our community with a safe place where they can express themselves freely. When it appears that such a place may not be upheld, Ziplaids works diligently to maintain the integrity of its own terms of service and to promote the idea that everyone’s work is created equal and just as welcome.”
The shooter at the club Pulse, killed 49 people before killing himself. He said he wanted to revenge, according to a lawsuit.