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Teenager guilty of hate crime after posting lyrics on Instagram

A teenager from Liverpool has been found guilty of committing a “hate crime” after posting Snap Dogg lyrics to her Instagram account. Chelsea Russell, 19, posted a line from the song I’m Trippin’ in her biography section to pay tribute to a 13-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car.

The lyrics from the US artist read, “kill a snitch n**** and rob a rich n****.” A screenshot of Russell’s account was sent to hate crime unit PC Dominique Walker who told the court the term n**** was “grossly offensive” to her. PC Walker also went on to ask Carole Clarke, defending, not to use the word in court.

Ms Clarke reportedly argued that the meaning of the ‘n’ word has changed over time, noting that it is widely used in popular music by artists such as Jay-Z, Eminem and Kanye West. “Jay-Z used these words in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury festival,” Ms Clarke said.

Russell was found guilty of sending a grossly offensive message. Prosecutors said her sentence was increased from a fine to a community order “as it was a hate crime.” District Judge Jack McGarvan said:

There is no place in civil society for language like that. Everyone with an Instagram account could view this content. The lyrics also encourage killing and robbing, so are grossly offensive.

According to BBC News, Russell was issued an eight-week comminity order, placed on an eight-week curfew and told to pay costs of £500 and an £85 victim surcharge.

So, what do you think? Did Russell deserve her sentence or has her freedom been violated?

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