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Police Pull Plug on Chief Keef, Again

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on July 29, 2015 3:59 PM

It's a story almost too odd to already be cliche: Hammond, Indiana police literally pulled the plug on a holographic Chief Keef performance. It's the second time in as many weeks that such a Keef show has been shut down, after a similar appearance was previously shut down in Chicago.

Performing as a hologram is somewhat necessary for Chief Keef in the Midwest, due to several outstanding arrest warrants. The performance shutdowns were allegedly based on safety fears.

Holographic Hip-Hop

The most recent incident came at a benefit concert for Keef's friend and fellow rapper Marvin Carr, who was shot a killed in Chicago last month, and Dillan Harper, a 13-month-old who was killed when a car fleeing the scene hit his stroller.

Before police shut the electricity off and cleared the stage, a hologram image of Chief Keef, beamed from Los Angeles, said, "All the kids, if you've got goals, achieve them ... If you've got dreams, believe them. Stop the violence. Stop the killing. Stop the nonsense. Let the kids grow up."

According to fans at the show, there were no incidents prior to, or during, Keef's performance. Another planned appearance at Chicago's Redmoon Theater last week was cancelled after city officials dubbed the rapper "an unacceptable role model (who) promotes violence."

Free Speech Violations?

Both police actions appear to be violations of Chief Keef's free speech rights. Generally speaking, the state can't discriminate against speech on the basis of viewpoint. While states (and their proxy law enforcement) can regulate the time, manner, and place of speech, they may only regulate content in very narrow ways.

Courts are especially critical of shutting down speech before it starts, ruling that the First Amendment imposes a heavy presumption against prior restraint. Because Keef's show had barely begun in one case, and was never allowed to start in the other, it seems he would have an easy time proving prior restraint.

Whether he'll actually sue (and subject himself to possible court appearances) remains, like his holographic likeness, to be seen.

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