A Texas high school student who rapped about killing a former friend was indicted Monday on felony stalking charges.
Brock Anthony Coleman, 17, who "believes himself to be a budding rapper" according to Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sergeant Don Peritz, wrote and recorded a rap song in which he threatened to kill another student, and later sold CDs of the song — called "Lullaby" — to his classmates.
But according to Peritz, the song itself was not enough to justify the indictment of Coleman, a student in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite. The matter crossed the line between free speech and criminal behavior when Coleman began calling his song's intended target and visiting his home, which he did several times. Coleman even enlisted members of his gang, Money Over Bitches, to follow the victim home, Peritz said.
"You have to look at this thing in its totality," Peritz explained. "The song, by itself, is nothing but a song clearly written to intimidate. When you take the song's lyrics, the way he distributed the song at school, and couple that with the constant phone calls, the visits to the victim's house, the gang members following him around, you have an issue that needs to be dealt with. The rap song is not the offense."
The song's lyrics include, "We used to ride, smoke and get high/ Now I just wanna watch this mutha----- die" and "Ho, answer ya phone/ Don't make me come to ya home ... Sorry [victim's mother's name], wish you well/ Your son can go to hell."
Peritz said the song, which also threatened the victim's girlfriend and family, helped investigators to make a strong case for the grand-jury indictment that led to Coleman's arrest.
According to Peritz, Coleman and the victim had been in the gang together and had a falling out. "The complainant dropped out of the gang, which pisses [Coleman] off, so he writes this song about shooting him," he said. "With all the school violence in the news of late, it wasn't one of those things you could take a chance with."
The victim's family took the threats seriously and contacted police, Peritz said.
Coleman was released from jail after posting $5,000 bond, and is expected to appear in a Dallas courtroom on April 12. He faces 10 years in a federal penitentiary if convicted. Peritz said Coleman would have been facing less time if not for a recent tweak to Texas law that elevated the penal code status of stalking from misdemeanor to felony.
Coleman told The Dallas Morning News that he was not in a gang, and that the targeted student actually likes the song. "He called me up and said it was tight," Coleman said. "He'd come to school and his friends would play it in the parking lot, in the stereos in their trucks. I guess it was supposed to intimidate me."