2 convicted in rap video targeting Pittsburgh police

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Two men have been convicted of charges in western Pennsylvania including witness intimidation and conspiracy in connection with a rap video posted online that authorities said urged people to kill Pittsburgh police officers.

Twenty-two-year-old Rashee Beasley and 19-year-old Jamal Knox are scheduled for sentencing Feb. 6 in Allegheny County court.

The video, pulled from YouTube after police began investigating it in November, praises Richard Poplawski, who was convicted of killing three city officers in April 2009. The lyrics include the line, “Let’s kill these cops ’cause they don’t do us no good” and names specific officers who patrol the area where Poplawski lived.

Judge Jeffrey Manning disagreed Thursday with defense arguments that the video was protected by free speech guarantees, saying it “far exceeds what the First Amendment allows.”

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