The unexpected release this week of a jailed rapper who was indicted as part of a RICO case in Atlanta has spawned unverified reports that he cooperated with law enforcement officials — or snitched — to gain his freedom.
Sergio Kitchens, who performs under the stage name Gunna, walked out of Fulton County Jail on Wednesday as a free man after he pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge. Gunna and his rapping partner Young Thug and dozens of others affiliated with the Hip-Hop record label YSL were indicted in May on racketeering, theft and assault, among other charges. Prosecutors from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office have alleged that Gunna received stolen property and was in possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.
They all remain jailed except for Gunna, whose plea deal includes a five-year sentence with one year to serve behind bars. However, his one-year sentence was commuted to time served, and the remaining sentence was suspended. Now, Gunna will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, with 350 of those hours speaking to young men and women in the community about the dangers of gangs and gang violence.
Critics on social media suggested without proof that Gunna must have cooperated with the government — or, in Hip-Hop parlance, snitched on his co-defendants — in order to secure his release. To be sure, “snitching” in rap circles is considered to be among the most forbidden and treasonous actions.
It is not clear how or if Gunna’s release will affect Young Thug’s case.
WSB-TV reported that Gunna was told by the judge that he would need to testify if prosecutors requested. Gunna also had some choice words that seemingly suggested that YSL was involved in crime.
But in court, Gunna acknowledged that he now knows YSL was about more than just music.
“YSL is a music label and a gang and you have personal knowledge that members or associates of YSL have committed crimes in furtherance of the gang,” asked the judge.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Gunna.
After his release from jail, Gunna offered some context to his exchange with the judge.
“I did not consider it a ‘gang,’” Gunna said in a statement. He said it was “more like a group of people from Metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations.”
He addressed the snitching reports later in his statement:
While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way.
I have chosen to end my own RICO case with an Alford plea and end my personal ordeal by publicly acknowledging my association with YSL. An Alford plea in my case is the entry of a guilty plea to the one charge against me, which is in my best interest, while at the same time maintaining my innocence toward the same charge. I love and cherish my association with YSL music, and always will. I look at this as an opportunity to give back to my community and educate young men and women that “gangs” and violence only lead to destruction.
TMZ also reported that Angela Yee, the former co-host of The Breakfast Club morning radio show and Hip-Hop insider, is “hesitant to place the snitch label on Gunna.”
But none of that has stopped the rumors from running rampant, fueled in part by fellow rapper Freddie Gibbs, who posted a clip from a movie in which Gunna was acting as a jailed criminal suspect who flirted with the idea of cooperating with police in exchange for some McDonald’s.
Gibbs captioned the post, “When art imitates reality,” suggesting Gunna did snitch after all.
Gunna’s attorney posted on social media that his client did not “snitch” and explained what the plea deal was all about.
Legally speaking, it appears that Gunna did not “snitch” or cooperate with law enforcement officials and that his statement is technically accurate.
But, of course, the facts rarely stop unsubstantiated rumors from flourishing.
The post Fact Check: Did Gunna Really Snitch? Unverified Reports About Rapper’s Release From Jail Go Viral appeared first on NewsOne.
Fact Check: Did Gunna Really Snitch? Unverified Reports About Rapper’s Release From Jail Go Viral was originally published on newsone.com