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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oakland Rapper Zoe Tha Roasta Has 99 Problems, But A Wrongful Gun Possession Charge Ain't One (Anymore)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge Ironically, the mixtape costs $10
  • Ironically, the mixtape costs $10

The garden-variety rappers-going-to-prison saga has taken a triumphant turn, albeit a long-delayed one, now that Lorenzo Hall, better known as Zoe Tha Roasta, has been awarded $175K in the wrongful arrest suit he brought against the city of Oakland after being arrested in 2006 and spending almost two years in jail.

As the Chronicle reports, Officer Ramon Alcantar allegedly planted a gun in Hall's car at a wake in Oakland, having received an anonymous tip that "a man named 'Zo' was carrying a gun." Four years, two separate jail bids, and numerous courtroom hours later, the Police Department has admitted that the evidence suggesting the gun belonged to someone was overwhelming.

It's not like Hall, who was a convicted felon with two strikes on his record at the time of the 2006 arrest, went out of his way to cultivate a law-abiding persona -- see, for exhibits A and B, his armed-robbery anthem "Squeeze On 'Em" and the "Roasta" in his nom de plume, which doesn't exactly bespeak the desire to be a Blue Bottle-trained barista. But the odds are stacked a little heavy against anyone in Hall's line of work, and our city officials need to know the difference between truth and fiction. Let's be thankful this miscarriage of justice has been set right.

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