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Prosecutors Seek Raw Chief Keef Gun Range Footage; Pitchfork Argues Scoring 10.0 On Free Speech

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 22, 2012 5:00PM


The Chief Keef saga, which would be ever comical if it didn't, you know, involve things like using Twitter to mock people dying, or to exploit underage women, or an underpinning of decades of racial segregation and black-on-black violence, took another turn.

This time, prosecutors argued in court Tuesday they should be able to subpoena raw footage of the 17-year-old rapper's Pitchfork selector episode. You know, the one that had the formerly Chicago-based music magazine take the erstwhile Keith Cozart to a New York City gun range in a spectacularly sensitive, culturally astute decision given the city's summer (and fall, and likely winter) of violence.

Somehow, people got the idea in their heads that doing so constitutes not just questionable journalism (in Pitchfork's defense, they retracted the video/interview segment, albeit months after it aired), but also a parole violation for Keef, who is reportedly seen holding a rifle.

We'll let the Tribune take it from here:

Prosecutors have argued that the rapper violated the terms of his probation by holding that rifle following his conviction for pointing a gun at a Chicago cop last year.

Assistant State's Attorney Jullian Brevard today told Juvenile Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker that the full uncut version of the video, including portions that weren't made public by Pitchfork, is needed by prosecutors to ensure that it is in fact Chief Keef holding the rifle in the video.

Pitchfork Media attorney Travis Life argued, though, that because of the Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Act, Pitchfork doesn't have to turn anything over to anyone; effectively scoring a perfect 10.0 on Free Speech.

Further, Life says that if prosecutors wanted to establish that Keef was indeed holding a firearm, thus violating his parole, they could do so through interviewing eyewitnesses. Judge Walker said he would consider the arguments, and scheduled the next hearing for Dec. 5th.

For those who are curious, this is what the law says about the court "granting divestiture" -- allowing dismissal, essentially -- from reporter privilege.

The court may do so if:

the information sought does not concern matters, or details in any proceeding, required to be kept secret under the laws of this State or of the Federal government


[A]ll other available sources of information have been exhausted and, either, disclosure of the information sought is essential to the protection of the public interest involved or, in libel or slander cases, the plaintiff's need for disclosure of the information sought outweighs the public interest in protecting the confidentiality of sources of information used by a reporter as part of the news gathering process under the particular facts and circumstances of each particular case.

The question is: have all available sources of information been exhausted? It would seem not, if Life is to be believed. (Boy, that's an unusual thing to write). But it should go without saying, we're not lawyers.

Keef's major label debut, Finally Rich, sees release on Dec. 17th.

At the risk of being repetitive, if you're sick of this whole Chief Keef thing, let us always remind you: cute kids rapping about how they're going to change the world.