COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Protesters marched through a Cobb County mall Wednesday night after child rapper's arrest went viral. The groups want the felony charges against the boy dropped.
Nearly 20 people took part in the demonstration in Cumberland Mall, including the mall's food court, in support of 12-year-old Corey Jackson, who goes by the stage name Corey J.
Cobb County Police said they took the child rapper into custody earlier this month after he refused to give his name when officers confronted him. Police also said he had previously received a criminal trespassing warning related to prior incidents of him selling his CDs inside the mall.
"Girl Scouts sell Girl Scout cookies, kids walk around selling Snickers and M&Ms and chocolate. Do they get snatched up and put in jail?" asked Latonia Jefferson who protested inside the mall.
In video of the arrest, a Cobb County officer can be seen holding the boy's arm. Cobb County Police Chief Michael Register stands by that officer, saying the boy refused to give his name and tried to run away.
“Many people said the officer manhandled the boy. He did not, he just grabbed his arm and held it when the boy refused to give his name and tried to run away,” Register stressed.
Cumberland Mall's general manager told FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell Corey J tried to sell CDs several times before at the mall and was ordered to stay off mall property.
As for allegations that Corey J’s aunt escalated the situation with her behavior towards the officer, the child's attorney, Gerald Griggs, told Mitchell he blames the officer.
“The police escalated when they put their hands on the young man then it became a force issue there may be issues with the aunts conduct we will review the entire investigation,” Griggs said.
Police arrested and charged the 12-year-old and his aunt with felony obstruction, criminal trespassing, and other charges. Griggs wants the charges against the boy dropped.