Prosecutors seek raw footage of Chief Keef at gun range

Tribune reporter

Cook County prosecutors trying to subpoena an online video showing South Side rapper Chief Keef holding a rifle at a gun range argued in court today that the uncut version of the footage is essential in determining whether the teen violated his probation.

The video was shot earlier this year when the 17-year-old rapper did an on-camera interview with Pitchfork Media, an Internet-based music publication, at a gun range in New York. In the video, Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, is reportedly seen with a rifle.

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.

"In today's media age, it could be spliced," Brevard said of the current video being shown online.

A lawyer for Pitchfork, Travis Life, objected, telling Walker that the release of the uncut video would violate Pitchfork's First Amendment protections.

"There are other means by which (prosecutors) can collect that information," Life said at the end of the 50-minute hearing. "Why not go through a witness that can provide the exact same information?"

Without making a ruling, Walker instead set the matter over until Dec. 5.

Chicago police have been looking into whether Chief Keef and his allies played a role in the Sept. 4 slaying of aspiring rapper Lil Jojo.

The slaying garnered national attention after Chief Keef sent a taunting tweet about the slain 18-year-old, whose real name was Joseph Coleman, hours after he was killed. Chief Keef, who recently signed a deal with Interscope Records, received mostly negative feedback from his more than 200,000 Twitter followers before he claimed his account had been hacked.

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