A teenager arrested for starring in a YouTube rap video threatening to kill Pittsburgh police officers was denied bail this morning.
Jamal Knox, 19, of East Liberty, is charged with retaliation, terroristic threats, witness intimidation and conspiracy. He also has two other cases pending involving drug and gun charges, as well as fleeing and eluding.
Defense attorney Paul Boas argued to Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning today that his client, who has no previous convictions and has never missed a court date, should be released on bond.
Mr. Boas believes it's likely Mr. Knox will not be convicted on the charges related to the song because of free speech protections.
"It was an offensive song, a distasteful song," Mr. Boas said. "But when it's all said and done, I believe it will be protected by the First Amendment."
Without explanation, Judge Manning ordered Mr. Knox to remain at the Allegheny County Jail.
Mr. Knox was arrested in January on charges related to the video.
In the YouTube clip, police say Mr. Knox and a co-defendant, Rashee Beasley, threatened to kill city police officers and specifically named two who work at the Zone 5 station in Highland Park.
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com or 412-263-2620.