Game Practising Free Speech in Tweet Prank, Lawyer Says
Published Aug 16, 2011While yesterday (August 15) we reported that West Coast rapper the Game may be facing charges following a Twitter prank that had countless fans calling up the Los Angeles county sheriff's department's Compton station, lawyers have stepped in to say the Game may be covered under first amendment law in the U.S.
Speaking with the L.A. Times, defence lawyer Mark Geragos, who doesn't represent the Game, explained that while the Game's tweets, which outlined an application process to become the hip-hop musician's intern, gave out the number of the sheriff's department, the posts gave no indication of who fans were actually calling. Geragos argues charging the Game over the rapper's social media posts violate first amendment laws.
"It's a very nuanced area," Geragos said. "But in this case it doesn't come close to being criminal. You are talking about expressing ideas. It's no different when political action committees tell their followers in advance of a vote to contact their congressman or senator by phone or by email."
The lawyer goes on to explain that things would be different if the Game had explicitly told his followers to mess with the sheriff's department, but as it stands, "Calling a number or contacting law enforcement, even if it's a hang-up, is not a crime."
Law enforcement officials are still waiting for the Game to acknowledge what he did was kind of crummy.
"We're still waiting for a Twitter message with an apology or a retraction or 'this was a bad idea,'" Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said. "We're waiting for something that sends a message out that people's lives are more important than playing around."
The Game has denied he posted the messages, insisting it was a friend that borrowed his phone. As for that apology, don't count on it.
"I can see it now: 'What u in 4 homie.. robbery. What about u dog... Murder. Aye... What u in here 4 game... (Pokes Chest Out) A TWEET' !!!" he joked in a post.