A Georgia district attorney candidate is wanted by cops for his role in a campaign rap video featuring a car cutting doughnuts in a parking lot — charges his attorney ripped as a ploy to penalize his client for trying to motivate young voters.
An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday by Columbus police for Mark Jones — who is running for district attorney for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit — for his role in a 55-second rap video urging people to “Get Out and Vote” ahead of a June 9 Democratic primary, police said.
Jones, 38, is wanted on four felony and two misdemeanor warrants in connection to the video that was posted to Facebook on May 18, one day after police said his campaign failed to get a permit for the shoot in a parking lot at the Columbus Civic Center.
“Freedom and legalize weed, the people’s DA who we need,” rapper JawGaBoi says on the video. ” … He on the ballot, he gon’ be preaching and talking about it. He ’bout that action. Who? Mark Jones.”
The charges include conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property, conspiracy to commit interference with government property and conspiracy to commit reckless conduct, Sgt. Katina Williams said.
Jones, who is seeking to unseat district attorney Julia Slater, is in the “process of turning himself” into police, his attorney said Wednesday.
“After examining the facts and evidence, it is clear that the charges involved in this case are fabricated,” attorney Christopher Breault said on Facebook. “A false narrative is being pushed by some in the mainstream media and their friends in the legal community.”
The charges come just 13 days ahead of the primary, and were filed after Jones gave “stinging criticism” of the district attorney’s office and Columbus police in response to reports that officers were confiscating marijuana and consuming it while on the job, his lawyer said.
Multiple police cars were present during the shoot, but did not stop the taping, Breault added.
“Mr. Jones is being arrested and charged with felonies (allegedly) because a car in the Civic Center parking lot did some donuts after the video shoot for a positive-message hip hop song that was created for the purpose of motivating younger people to engage in the Democratic process,” Breault said.
Two men, Christopher Mandel Black, 23, and Erik Deangelo Whittington, 24, were arrested Friday in connection to the video, the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer reports.
Black and Whittington were charged with counts including felony interference with government property and first-degree criminal damage to property, the newspaper reports.
Black’s girlfriend, Ana Cecilia Grimmett, has blamed Jones for his arrest, saying the candidate paid him $100 to be photographed alongside his custom 2004 Nissan 350Z for the hip-hop video.
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