Antavio Johnson is a rapper that spreads his music on MySpace. The rapper did not get much attention until his lyrics landed him in jail for a song called Kill Me A Cop. This rapper also gained the attention of free speech advocates. Johnson was frustrated with the police when he recorded a violent rap song several years ago and threatened to shoot police.
A similar case took place in June when Jeffrey Weaver posted threatening comments against former police officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle fatally shot Oscar Grant III outside of a BART train. The incident was captured on video, but it was ambiguous about whether the incident was intentional or not.
“We don’t punish for bad thoughts in America,” stated ACLU Florida executive director Howard Simon. “Our Constitution forces us to make a distinction between ugly and hostile thoughts and words, and credible threats of violence.”
The song was posted to a MySpace profile page of an unofficial record label in February and was online for a couple of weeks before a gang detective discovered the song and began his investigation. Johnson’s brother Gerald said that the song was recorded when his brother was a teenager after feeling that the police had harassed him.
Hood Certified Entertainment record label owner Daniel Barajas said that he pulled the song off the MySpace page and is determining what the next step to take is from Johnson’s lawyer. Johnson himself said he is not a violent person and labels himself as a Christian rapper.