During the ongoing trial of rapper Young Thug in Georgia, the faces of jurors were briefly exposed during a livestream of the proceedings. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, is facing gang and racketeering charges. The trial began earlier this week, and on Wednesday, the jury heard from the first expert witness, Mark Belknap, a detective with the Atlanta Police Department.
While recording Wednesday’s trial, the camera in the courtroom shifted its angle, inadvertently showing the faces of some jurors. Screenshots of this incident started circulating on social media shortly after. In response, the judge and attorneys temporarily left the courtroom, and the livestream focused on the wall for over an hour. When they returned, Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Ural Glanville requested that the media only film the audio of Belknap’s testimony due to “security issues” and the inadvertent recording of some jurors in the front row.
Following this request, the livestream from the Law & Crime Network began showing other parts of the courtroom and zoomed in on a water bottle in front of Belknap when he was speaking. The trial comes more than a year after Young Thug was indicted alongside over two dozen others. Prosecutors allege that the rapper co-founded a violent criminal street gang called Young Slime Life (YSL) in 2012, which they claim is associated with the national Bloods gang. YSL is accused of being involved in various crimes, including killings, shootings, and carjackings. Prosecutors argue that Young Thug promoted the gang through his music and social media posts.
The trial has faced several hurdles, including delays and a denied motion for a mistrial earlier this week. Last week, Judge Glanville ruled that prosecutors could use 17 sets of lyrics as evidence, provided they demonstrate a connection to the crimes Young Thug is accused of. The defense maintains that YSL is simply a music label and not a gang, according to The AP.