SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of people rallied in front of the San Diego County Courthouse Sunday to show support for local rapper Brandon Duncan and Aaron Harvey who face gang conspiracy charges.
The gathering also voiced opposition to state penal code 182.5 – which is being used to prosecute both men. The code makes it a felony to be in a criminal street gang, to know of a gang’s criminal activity or benefit somehow from that activity.
“It’s a shame that this case has gone this far with no evidence that these young men have committed a crime.”
A prosecutor said 33-year old Duncan, who performs as “Tiny Doo,” profited from gang violence through his music after rapping about a series of shootings in 2013. Duncan has served 8 months in jail and faces 25 years to life in prison.
Duncan said he’s just an artist making music and denies involvement with any gang.
“I paint a picture of urban community. I’m not trying to tell no young kids to go out and commit crimes or hurt anybody. I have young children myself and never want anybody to hurt them or them to hurt anybody,” Duncan said.
The 26-year-old Harvey is accused of having gang ties after posting Facebook pictures that included gang colors and hand signs.
“I am not a gang member, but I am from the community of Lincoln Park,” Harvey said. “They wear green in the high school. We represent our community. The gang has adopted these things, we did not adopt the gang nor do we accept it.”
Duncan and Harvey led a march around the courthouse where they hope the conspiracy charge against them will be dismissed Monday.
“We’re not who they’re making us out to be,” Duncan said.