HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania appeals court is considering whether anti-police rap lyrics amount to protected speech under the First Amendment or are a criminal threat to harm Pittsburgh police officers.
The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case of Jamal Knox, who served time in state prison for the song he recorded after being arrested on drug charges.
Questions from the justices focused on whether Knox intended it as a true threat to officers and whether the reaction to the song by police is relevant to the criminal charges.
Knox was charged after an officer found a YouTube video with Knox performing the song under the name Mayhem Mal of the Ghetto Superstar Committee.
The song mentions Richard Poplawski, who’s on death row for killing three Pittsburgh police officers.
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