Rapper Young Thug makes first court appearance on gang charges as DA says YSL gang allegations deserve ‘maximum penalties’
American rapper, Young Thug has made his first appearance in court after being arrested on Monday.
This comes as Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was alongside 28 other defendants named in a 56-count indictment on Monday in Georgia.
He made his first appearance in court on Tuesday May 10, through a video monitor in front of the Fulton County Magistrate judge.
At a press conference, Fulton County DA Dani Wallis said that the criminal street gang had committed 75 to 80 percent of the violent crimes in the Atlanta community.
“They have to be rooted out of our community,” Willis said.
“It does not matter what your notoriety is, what your fame is, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia and you commit crimes, you are going to become a target and a focus of this District Attorney’s office.
District Attorney Fani Willis said that Young Thug’s social media as well as the lyrics in his music played a crucial part in the investigation.
“Social media is a wonderful tool for prosecutors in every indictment we bring these days,” Willis said.
“The First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using it as evidence if it is so,” she said.
DA Willis also said that her office will be seeking justice for the victims of the gang’s alleged violence.
“There are obviously many people that are looking at life under this indictment,” Willis said.
“These are serious times, and these are serious allegations. And it is my opinion that violence in our community deserves maximum penalties.”
According to prosecutors, Williams in 2012 co-founded a violent street gang known as YSL, for young slime life, which he promoted in his songs and on social media. He was arrested Monday at his home in Atlanta, and held at the Fulton County Jail on charges of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s RICO Act and participation in a criminal street gang.
Prosecutors are expected to use Williams’ social media posts and his own song lyrics against him during the trial.
Also named in the case is Sergio Kitchens, a rapper and YSL associate known as “Gunna.” Gunna is signed to Williams’ record label. In April 2021, the two posted bail for 30 low-level inmates who were unable to afford the costs themselves.
Fani Willis, Fulton County’s district attorney, said on Tuesday that her number one focus is targeting gangs.
“It does not matter what your notoriety is, what your fame is,” Willis said. “If you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and you commit crime, and certainly, if those crimes are in furtherance of a street gang, you will become a target and focus of this district attorney’s office,”
YSL is said to be affiliated with the national Bloods gang. It is mainly active in southeast Atlanta, but is expanding to the surrounding metro area, prosecutors said. Members of the gang are identifiable by their green or red bandanas and clothes with YSL or Slime on them.
In Williams’ case, the indictment links the YSL gang to a wide range of illegal activities from drug dealing to murder