Is shutting down Chief Keef’s hologram concert a violation of the First Amendment?

“A performance by the Chicago rapper Chief Keef — or rather, his likeness, beamed live via hologram from California — was shut down by the police on Saturday night in Hammond, Ind., after warnings from the mayor’s office that the performer could not appear, even digitally, promoters said on Sunday,” writes Joe Coscarelli for the New York Times.

Chief Keef, 19, had billed the performance as a “Stop the Killing” benefit concert, meant to raise money for Marvin Carr, a fellow Chicago rapper who died in a shooting this month, and Dillan Harris, a 13-month-old child killed by a vehicle fleeing the scene of that shooting. The rapper opted not to appear in the Midwest in the flesh, citing outstanding warrants for his arrest, stemming from two child support cases.

Today’s Question: Is shutting down Chief Keef’s hologram concert a violation of the First Amendment?

  • Gary F

    Chicago and Hammond dislike the 2nd AND 1st Amendments!

    Was a permit needed to hold the event? If, so, did they have a permit? Did they follow the details of the permit?

    If not, you let them hold their event. At the first whiff of weed, drinking in public, noise ordinance violation, or drunken driving you make sure your police body cameras are on and working, and you clear them out.

  • Robert

    It wasn’t the event they disagreed with but with him. He was doing it this way to avoid being arrested for warrants for neglecting to pay his child support. If he showed up physically he could say whatever he wanted while being arrested on the warrants so I don’t see this as a 1st amendment case.

  • PaulJ

    Is it the free speech of the venue or of Keef that is at issue? Either way it doesn’t seem right. Would they allow Barns and Noble to sell a written version? It isn’t as though he’s making money off talking about a crime that he has been convicted of.

  • Pearly

    Lol. Cheef who? Wasn’t the issue something about unpaid child support warrants?
    Went to the tube to take listen to the keef. Man I miss Eazy-E.

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Keef Keefkeefkeefkeefkeef. You’re missing the whole point. Eazy who? That guy at the IRS, or whoo ezackly? “Whoo stole my heart awaaay?” Ahh.. Franny Gumm. But that was a different era, when such recondite matters never arose..or were handled in an altogether nother manner.

  • Martha

    Keef is not a musician but he is a foul mouthed anti-woman irresponsible punk, as in Baby mamma scum. Glad he was banned.

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Baby mama scum? That sounds like something no one would want to see displayed in public….

  • KTN

    Um yes. The city cannot stop speech it feels is obnoxious, cause if that were the case, then Trump (or all the Republican candidates for Pres) should also be banned. I find their message completely intolerable.
    The First A protects speech that some find hurtful, and in this case, they violated the right for this young man to speak- because somebody didn’t like his message. He may or may not be a saint, but he still has rights, just like the rest of us to speak freely, without government interference. Chicago got it wrong.

    • Robert

      So you have warrants for your arrest and to avoid going to jail you send your hologram instead of your physical self? Seems like he’s trying to hide from paying child support and calling it a 1st amendment case.

      • KTN

        The two are unrelated. If he has warrants for his arrest, that is not a 1stA issue – he still retains the right to speak freely, and Chicago does not have the right to ban him (they can however arrest him for any crimes he has committed).

  • Ulysses Tennyson

    Like they could legally prevent him from phoning in a performance from Ca. to Indiana, where incidentally there are no warrants against him. Totally bogus. Like getting 86’d from the main blog at this pretense palace and being told by the PR flak:”Oh Bob is too big and important for us to go against his wishes.” “Non-profits” who live in glass houses with big corporate logos on the wall shouldn’t pontificate about free speech in Indiana…

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      But the main thing is of course I never heard of Chief Keef before and now I have. Never heard the mayor of Hammond’s name before either, but I’ve forgotten it already.

  • lindblomeagles

    I’m not a legal expert, but as far as I can tell, didn’t the American Public want to keep things like holograms, the Internet, and social media free from censure? I understand Chief Keef has warrants for his arrest, but isn’t the job of law enforcement to bring fugitives to justice? How does closing down a free concert bring Chief Keef into police custody? Finally, what exactly are the Hammond Police afraid of? Are they trying to avoid investigations into shootings involving African Americans or do they think Keef played some role in the shootings? This action seems not only illegal, but also illogical.

  • Sue de Nim

    Yes, they violated his 1stA rights. It was also shortsighted and counterproductive. I’d never heard of this guy before, and but for these events probably never would have, because I usually pay no attention to the scene he’s a part of. The Hammond authorities made him more famous than he otherwise would be.

  • davehoug

    Could he phone in, fax in, be on a separate camera feed, play a recording of his speech? NOT seeing how government can legally prevent a wanted man from being heard at a public event.

    I don’t see the hologram as any legal issue, his views can not be banned simply because he is wanted.