Brandon Duncan, who goes by the name Tiny Doo, faces the serious charge of, as the district attorney puts it, “promoting” shootings.
Fourteen men, including Doo, are about to stand trial for nine California shootings. According to the San Diego County District Attorney's office, Tiny Doo is a documented member of the gang that allegedly perpetrated the attempted murders. And though he didn’t fire a gun, buy the weapons or was even at the scene of the crime, he has to stand trial.
Apparently, the only crime he committed is releasing his music – and he may get a life sentence for it.
“We’re not just talking about a CD of anything, of love songs. We’re talking about a CD (cover) … there is a revolver with bullets,” says Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna.
Here’s the cover:
Mighty dangerous, isn’t it?
But apparently the DA has sound grounds: Tiny Doo is charged with “gang conspiracy” because his “gang gained in status” from crimes, and this – prosecutors argue – allowed him to “sell more albums.”
California Penal Code Section PC186.22(b)(1), says:
“Any person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members, shall, upon conviction of that felony, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which he or she has been convicted…”
“It’s shocking. He has no criminal record. Nothing in his lyrics say go out and commit a crime. Nothing in his lyrics reference these shootings, yet they are holding him liable for conspiracy. There are huge constitutional issues,” says Doo’s attorney Brian Watkins.
Of course people are incensed:
Oh I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I thought this was AMERICA #FreeTiny— JeremyAlexanderKuzo (@EmporerKuzco) November 20, 2014
But does all the outrage amount to anything? Eminem recently got away with rapping threats of sexual harassment and physical violence in his songs. Bill Cosby, meanwhile, goes around with over 15 alleged rape claims hanging around his neck and here we have a singer who is standing trial for a cover with a gun on it?