Chief Keef Sent to Jail for Probation Violation
COOK COUNTY JUVENILE COURT — Chicago rap star Chief Keef handed over his phone and headed off to jail Tuesday afternoon after a judge ruled he violated his probation by holding a gun in an online video.
The 17-year-old rapper, whose real name is Keith Cozart, was taken into custody during a hearing in Juvenile Court in Chicago. A second hearing on his sentence will be held Thursday.
Cook County Juvenile Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker said Chief Keef exhibited a "clear disregard for the court's authority" in appearing with a gun during an interview with Pitchfork.com.
When the hearing started Chief Keef, wearing a black hoodie, camouflaged pants and tan Timberland boots, stood before the judge, his left leg shook nervously. Later during the two-hour hearing, the rapper rocked in his chair.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jullian Brevard questioned a juvenile probation supervisor who testified that Chief Keef was told the conditions of his probation required him to have no contact with "gangs, guns and drugs."
Brevard argued that no one "put a gun to his head" to force Chief Keef to shoot at a paper target during the Pitchfork.com interview.
The video showed the teen rapper getting firearm instruction, loading and firing a semi-automatic Rugar rifle at the Westside Rifle and Pistol Range in New York City. The video also appeared to show that Chief Keef was a pretty good shot — bullet holes struck the target, a drawing of a man, on the chest.
Dominador Lacson, a firearms instructor at Westside, testified the gun Chief Keef fired was chained to the range's firing booth.
Chief Keef's attorney, Dennis Berkson, argued his client was merely involved in the production of a video interview that was scheduled and attended by representatives of Interscope Records, Chief Keef's label.
Berkson also argued Chief Keef never had a gun outside the range, but the judge said the range was no different than holding a gun in a private home. Berkson said it was "stupid" for Chief Keef to participate in the gun-range interview, but he didn't violate the "spirit" of the judge's probation order.
"This is no different than if he was in a movie," said Berkson. "It is a movie."
But prosecutors argued the judge's "word is law" and a "higher authority ... above Interscope Records."
Judge Walker agreed.
After the ruling, Chief Keef didn't show emotion. He calmly emptied his pockets, told a court deputy that he wasn't wearing earrings and handed his phone to his uncle. That means Chief Keef, a prolific user of social media, won't be sending out Tweets or Instagram photos anytime soon.
On the way out of court, his reps weren't chatty.
"Kiss my ass," one of them told a reporter.
Glory Boyz rappers, including Fredo Santana, Gino Marley, Capo and SD, took to Twitter to voice their support for Chief Keef and their disdain for the Chicago police department.
"Just left Court For @ChiefKeef Me and My #SQUADD #GBEGloryboyz Finna Spazzout #300," Capo posted on his Twitter handle, Capo_GBE300.
Santana tweeted a message to Chief Keef fans saying that the jailed rapper would be "back down real soon I'ma hold shit down me an the squad got chu #GBE," followed by "F--- the police."
Chief Keef will remain in custody until Thursday when Walker is set to decide how long to keep the rapper in custody. Chief Keef was given 18 months probation in January 2012 for pleading guilty to a unlawful use of a weapon following his arrest for pointing a gun at Chicago police officers in December 2011.
The details of the arrest were exclusively reported Monday by DNAinfo.com Chicago.
Chief Keef was charged with four felonies — three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He also was hit with a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
Chief Keef was held in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center until a judge sentenced him to home confinement at his grandmother’s house.
On Thursday, prosecutors presented Judge Walker with a 15-page report and said they planned to call two witnesses to strengthen their petition to have Chief Keef jailed.
In court, assistant state's attorney Brevard said Chief Keef has had two chances to abide by the terms of his probation — a reference to two prior times the rapper had been found in violation of his probation — and "he's still not learning."
Brevard also accused Chief Keef and his representatives of lying in court about where the rapper lives. Brevard showed the judge a copy of a lease for a house in Northbrook that includes Chief Keef's name as a person living in the house.
He said it was just another example of Chief Keef telling "more lies" and "blowing off probation orders."
But Berkson said Keef uses the house as a recording studio and doesn't live there.