It's All in The Game: LA Sheriff's Department Drops Charges, Applauds Rapper's Responsible Freedom of Speech
In just under a week, The Game has gone from a prankster under criminal investigation to a champion of responsible free speech.
The rapper got into hot water with the LA Sheriff's Department after he sent out a tweet last Friday with the agency's public help line in Compton to his 580,000+ followers.
That tweet prompted a wave of calls that deputies said jammed their lines and compromised public safety. Authorities launched an investigation into what they called a "flash-mob" and considered charging him with three misdemeanors.
Those same authorities seemed to change their tune after the rapper went on CNN last night to apologize for what he said was an accident.
"It was a simple mishap," the rapper told CNN. "I was doing a photo shoot, and it was downtown Los Angeles, and one of my boys picked up my phone and started tweeting random numbers."
He added: "I never want to be the source of anything happening wrong to anybody or anybody not being able to get through to the help lines at the police station. I don't ever want to see anyone hurt. I've got kids at home. I'm not that guy."
The Sheriff's Department not only dropped the charges but applauded his apology in a public statement: "His willingness to help share with the media and the community that the safety of the public is what is most important, is a great message."
However, the release also hints that maybe the authorities never had much of a case against The Game in the first place.
While there are various laws that could be applicable in this case, there are certain aspects that have not quite caught up with the rapid pace of new media and all that it brings, which includes a lot of good as well as some rough edges.
But pranksters beware: that doesn't mean there won't be a law addressing just this sort of newfangled Twitter flash-mob in the future.
We are working with legal experts to address what type of legislation may be considered to specifically address the new and ongoing media issues that may cause harm to public safety, while respecting each individual’s right to freedom of speech.
In the meantime, it looks like The Game is back to using his Twitter feed for activities fully protected under the First Amendment: it alternates between fans who promise to pay full-price for his new album coming out next week and fans gushing about how awesome the leak is.