If I were a fiction writer of true crime stories, the narrative would go something like this:
After cooling his heels in a jail cell for over a month, Elton found himself back in very the courtroom where he was charged with attempted first-degree murder for shooting a police officer and denied bond.
He was now at the court’s mercy again while his lawyer tried to convince the judge to let him out of jail until his trial begins.
“Your Honor,” began the defense attorney. “My client is innocent. When the police pounded his front door while shouting ‘Police! Search warrant!’ he and his mother thought they were being robbed. Of course he had to pull out his stick, er, I mean, get out his gun and start shooting!
“Furthermore, the fact that the police found ‘several computers and lists of hundreds of stolen names and Social Security numbers’ doesn’t mean they belong to my client. They belong to a friend. He was just holding on to them for safekeeping. For his friend!
“In addition to that, your Honor, even though my client produced and performed in a violent music video called Pull Out The Stick, in which he and his buddy wave assault rifles in the air and point them at the camera, it’s only entertainment. My client is an artist!”
But I don’t write fiction. I don’t have to. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
As the whole world knows, Elton L. Bandoo, a/k/a EB Da Iceman, shot North Miami Beach Police Officer Lino Diaz who was attempting to serve a search warrant at the suspect’s house for alleged unemployment fraud and identity theft. Even though “Police believe Bandoo has ties to local gang members,” as reported by NBC Miami, his attorney Seth LaVey tried to paint him as a pillar of the community.
After all, he got that lawyer fee. He had to bring it!
And just to show how absolutely harmless violent rap videos about guns are, when prosecutors played Pull Out The Stick for the judge, according to the Miami Herald, “LaVey smiled broadly, bobbing his head to the blaring beat.”
Catchy tune, eh, Seth?
LaVey was also incredulous when Prosecutor Bill Howell asked NMBPD Detective Craig Catlin to interpret the line in the video, “wet his ass up.” The detective replied, “That means shooting somebody up with a lot of bullets. They’re going to have a lot of blood coming out of them.”
In addition to his familiarity with the gang culture street lingo, since 2010 Detective Catlin has added identity theft and tax fraud to his crime fighting repertoire. He was recently featured in a Miami Herald three part series called Ripping off your refunds. In One Case cracked open the tax racket, the detective inadvertently uncovered a “burgeoning tax-fraud enterprise” during a traffic stop of a car with “illegal tinted windows” and a temporary license tag “registered to a known gang member.”
Detective Catlin’s bust, and subsequent “collaboration with the Secret Service and IRS investigative agents, put together the entire case against the Pierre brothers for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” His painstaking detective work resulted in an October, 2013 federal grand jury guilty verdict against two brothers, Terry and (unfortunately, the wrong) Frantz Pierre, as well as a third member of the ring.
See? I really couldn’t make this stuff up.
In court Monday morning, as the Miami Herald reported, Elton L. Bandoo’s lawyer pointed out that “songs steeped in violence are simply artistic creations of rappers. Some, like Ice Cube, have gone on to ‘play a cop on TV.'”
Just because the rapper’s video showed him “repeatedly pointing an AK47 toward the camera,” doesn’t mean he can’t one day also get a gig on CSI: Special Victims Unit.
After all, Bandoo is a “Special Victim” himself now.
According to his lawyer anyway.
LaVey’s reasoned, “You may not like, it’s the First Amendment, it’s free speech, isn’t it?”
So I guess the judge and jury are supposed to ignore the whole violence-filled video and the rapper’s references to shooting stuff up, despite the fact that he violently tried to kill a cop. With a gun. One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Never mind that the evidence found in Elton L. Bandoo’s home pointed to his involvement in “filing false tax returns and unemployment claims.”
Never mind that he used one of his weapons to shoot a police officer.
Never mind that he’s in jail facing attempted first-degree murder charges.
Never mind that federal law enforcement authorities are “building a case against him” on fraud charges.
His lawyer told the court that his client “has never been in trouble his entire life.”
Um, until now.
I guess there’s a first time for everything.
“Spreading the Wealth”