Michigan criminal defense attorney

Arguments Over a YouTube Video Being Allowed As Evidence

You Tube Videos

Should a YouTube Video that lead police to a dog fighting ring be allowed as evidence?

How much social media should be allowed in a trial as evidence?

Toranio Hightower or you may know him by Young Calicoe, a Detroit rapper, may be finding out the hard way how social media and illegal activity do not mix.

A YouTube video led police to the rapper’s home in Detroit on West Outer Drive. The video in question has Toranio Hightower showing the audience around his home and into his backyard where his Dog/Cock Fighting Operation takes place.

This video had animal rights groups up in arms after being posted to YouTube. The video can be watched here. (please note the video contains explicit language) The Detroit Free Press reports the rapper using dog fighting lingo like,

Anybody want to fight some dogs?” he asks as the camera follows him. “I hope we don’t get indicted for that … that Michael Vick-type (expletive deleted).”

This video now has lawyers in arguments on whether or not it should be allowed to be used as evidence in the upcoming trial.

  • The prosecution is arguing that the video should be allowed as evidence due to a precedent that dates back to the 70s.
  • The defense is arguing that it is impossible to authenticate the video due to how easily images can be altered.

Judge Hansen will be the one deciding on whether or not this video can be allowed as evidence. This is an important decision.  Even if the video is thrown out and not allowed to be used as evidence, that video still led the police to the home in the first place.

Do you believe the defense has a strong enough case to win over the Judge?

This article was published on: November 30, 2012 and was last modified November 30, 2012