Posted: Feb 26, 2013 4:45 PM by AP
A lawyer for the family of a nine-year-old Massachusetts rapper who appears in sexually suggestive videos is criticizing authorities' decision to investigate whether the boy is the victim of possible child abuse or neglect.
The boy who performs as "Lil Poopy," is a thriving, well-adjusted fourth-grader with a good home life, good grades and musical talent, attorney Joseph Krowski on Monday said of client Luie Rivera Jr, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
"This is just what I would call a racially tinged investigation, because whoever watched it probably doesn't understand rap," Krowski said of his client's work. "This isn't some child left alone that's not going to school. It all comes down to content in the videos, which is protected by the First Amendment" of the US Constitution, which protects free speech.
On Sunday, Brockton police asked state child welfare officials to look into possible abuse after watching Lil Poopy videos following a feature story about him in local newspaper the Enterprise.
Police on Monday said they have not filed any criminal charges.
A US Department of Children and Families (DCF) spokeswoman said that officials are looking into concerns about the young rapper's welfare.
The investigation will include interviews with everyone who lives in the child's home and likely others who have contact with the nine-year-old, such as school officials, DCF spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.
Child welfare officials can refer the case to the local district attorney's office if an investigation finds any criminal behavior.
"The filers of this report wanted to make sure the child is being properly cared for," Isaksen said. "So the department will look into all aspects of this."
The videos show the boy slapping a woman's buttocks, engaging in sexually suggestive dances and glorifying drug use.
The boy's father, Luis Rivera, told the Enterprise that his son is acting and not doing anything wrong.
The newspaper said Lil Poopy has performed alongside Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, and was discovered in his father's music studio by the rapper known as French Montana.
Lil Poopy music that was posted to a mix tape site in October last year has lyrics that include him singing about being a "bad boy" and a "cocaine cowboy."
It showed about 8,600 downloads and 195,000 views on Monday afternoon.
YouTube posts also feature the boy singing "Coke ain't a bad word," and show him with Coca-Cola.