A San Diego-based rapper is among 15 people being charged in a series of gang-related shootings, although police agree he never fired a gun used in the crimes, the Los Angles Times reports.
Brandon Duncan, aka Tiny Doo, was charged with nine felonies related to the shootings citing his newest album cover as evidence that he was part of a gang conspiracy.
Duncan's album cover for "No Safety" shows a revolver and bullets.
Prosecutors say that Tiny Doo fits the legal definition for a gang member who "willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang," as detailed in California's Proposition 21.
The law does not require a person to have knowledge of criminal activity that occurs to be charged with a crime.
"With a regular conspiracy you have to have knowledge and agreement. But this takes away that requirement," Duncan's lawyer Deanne Arthur told BuzzFeed News. "They're not saying that Brandon Duncan had anything to do with it. They’re just saying Brandon Duncan prompts this kind of behavior with his music."
According to San Diego police, Duncan is a documented gang member with a "gang moniker" of TD. He was charged with pimping and pandering in 2008, both charges were dropped.
Another attorney representing the rapper told the Times that films also commonly depict gang activity.
"If we are trying to criminalize artistic expression, what's next? Brian De Palma and Al Pacino?" lawyer Brian Watkins told the Times, referring to "Scarface."
Watkins said the evidence against his client consists of his album cover and pictures of him and other defendants on social media websites.
Watkins explained the pictures by saying that Duncan grew up in a San Diego neighborhood with gang members.
Duncan was arrested 5 months ago and remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. Trial is set to begin Dec. 4 and the rapper faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.