HAMMOND, Ind. — Chicago rapper Chief Keef’s benefit concert lasted all of about four minutes before it was shut down by police in Hammond, Indiana Saturday night.
Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, appeared from California via hologram at the hip hop festival Craze Fest. He couldn’t attend the event because of outstanding warrants in Illinois, where the concert was originally scheduled to be held.
It was intended to raise money for Dillan Harris, the 13-month-old who was killed by a car trying to outrun police earlier this month. An associate of Chief Keef, fellow Chicago rapper Marvin Carr, had been shot and killed moments before, allegedly by the driver of that car.
The location of the concert was kept a secret until the last minute. Previous attempts to organize a concert at a Pilsen theater last week were shut down by Chicago city officials, who cited Chief Keef’s lyrics promoting violence and public safety concerns.
Around 10:25 p.m., just as Chief Keef was finishing his first song, police rushed the stage and shut off the lights and sound. They say they had warned the concert organizers it would get shut down if Chief Keef made an appearance.
The promoter of the concert, Alki David of Hologram USA, says he plans to sue the city of Hammond for damaging equipment. He also says he has already been in contact with the ACLU regarding a possible freedom of speech violation against the city.
“Shame on the mayor and police chief of Hammond for shutting down a voice that can create positive change in a community in desperate need. And for taking away money that could have gone to help the victims’ families,” David said in a statement. “This was a legal event and there was no justification to shut it down besides your glaring disregard for the first amendment right to free speech…Mark my words, if you censor us, you only make us stronger.”
Police say there were no arrests or citations.