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When the Music Stops: Rappers Beat Strangers in Wrigleyville

Hip-hop luminary Eminem, with his group D12, once released a song about confusing hip-hop with real life. The hip-hop culture encourages escalation and discourages turning the other cheek. Men don’t ignore insults, they retaliate and escalate.

Perhaps that was the mindset of the four men arrested for mob action and aggravated battery in Wrigleyville. Corry Simmons, Donald Robinson Jr., Edward Robinson, and Alvin L. Goffin were filming a rap video in a stretch limo. According to prosecutors, when they arrived at Wrigleyville, they jumped out of the limo and starting pummeling random strangers. One victim ended up with a broken jaw. A responding officer was also injured, reports the Huffington Post.

According to relatives of the rappers, the foursome had been taunted prior to the outbreak of violence. Racial slurs may have been involved, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Even still, that’s not much of a legal defense. Unless you are in physical danger, you are expected to turn the other cheek. That’s not something that comes easy to many people, especially those in the machismo-centered hip-hop culture.

The law of self-defense doesn’t care about hurt feelings, however. One is allowed to use as much force as necessary to extract themselves from the dangerous situation. Anything more is a crime.

The four men have been charged with mob action. Three were charged with aggravated battery. One was charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting a peace officer.

Mob action, which is a felony charge, is defined as “the knowing or reckless use of force or violence disturbing the public peace by 2 or more persons acting together and without authority of law.” It is only a relatively minor class 4 felony, which carries up to one year in prison.

A fifth person, who has not been identified, was filming the melee from the limo. It is unclear if that person could, or should, be charged with a crime.

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