Young Thug is being held in “dungeon-like conditions” and deserves release on bond or more humane treatment while fighting his “unconscionable and unconstitutional” RICO indictment, the Atlanta rapper’s lawyer says.
In a new emergency motion filed Friday and obtained by Rolling Stone, lawyer Brian Steel says his client has been placed in “solitary confinement” in a Georgia jail, relegated to a “windowless cement compartment with only a bed and a toilet and an overhead light which remains on 24 hours per day.” He says the musician, born Jeffery Williams, can’t sleep, rest, or mediate due to the disorienting environment and has “no opportunity to exercise, shower or have human contact.”
“Mr. Williams, an innocent man, who is wholly isolated from the world, must obtain immediate relief,” Steel writes in the motion.
Williams, 30, was arrested Monday on felony charges alleging violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. Fulton County prosecutors claim he’s a co-founder of a criminal street gang called Young Slime Life. They allege the group, also known as YSL, conspired to carry out crimes ranging from drug dealing, carjacking and armed robbery to assault with a deadly weapon and murder.
Prosecutors cited lyrics from some of the Grammy-winning rapper’s songs in the 56-count indictment that named 28 defendants, including fellow Atlanta rapper Gunna.
Steel blasted the move in his filing, saying Williams was “lawfully exercising his freedom of speech and expression in his profession as a musical artist” when he recorded the songs.
“To weaponize these words by charging overt acts to support a supposed conspiracy is unconscionable and unconstitutional pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” he wrote.