Chief Keef Jailed Over Pitchfork Gun Range Video, Parole Violation
Rising Chicago rapper Chief Keef was jailed on Tuesday (Jan. 15) after a judge found that his interview with Pitchfork Media at a gun range was a violation of his parole, reports the Chicago Tribune. Keef, born Keith Cozart, is on 18-month-probation for pointing a gun at a Chicago police officer back in 2011.The judge ruled that by holding a gun for the on-camera interview with Pitchfork he breached the terms of his 18-month-probation, and ordered him into custody.
Although Pitchfork has since taken the video down, the court ordered the footage be released in order to determine a verdict. The 17-year-old will be sentenced on Thursday and will be held in juvenile holding facility until then.
The sentence comes only a few week after the release of Keef's debut album Finally Rich on Interscope -- a record that has been highly divisive within the music community and sparked a number of debates about hip-hop journalism and greater cultural concerns.
Police interest in Keef became more pointed when he posted a tweet taunting a Chicago contemporary, rapper Lil Jojo, only 18 hours after Jojo was murdered. However, no ties have been found between Cozart and the slaying.
Cozart's lawyer, Dennis Berkson, insists that the rapper was only holding the gun for promotional purposes and should not face criminal charges.
"It was a promotion. Just like a movie," the attorney said. "There was no intent on his part to possess a gun."
Cook County judge Carl Anthony Walker will hand down the final verdict tomorrow. In the meantime, Keef's fans have taken to Twitter, popularizing the hashtag "#FreeSosa" to show solidarity with the rapper using his nickname. Pitchfork has yet to comment on the situation.