2 Live Crew Suit Settled

A settlement between 2 Live Crew and Mississippi’s Copiah County was reached May 23rd over claims that sheriffs prevented an all-ages concert by the rap group in 2000.

Members of the group, concert promoters and local residents sued Copiah county seeking $15 million for alleged unwarranted arrests, searches and roadblocks. More than 90 people were arrested, mostly on misdemeanor charges.

The lawsuit was filed in 2001 against sheriff’s departments in Copiah, Hinds, Rankin and Simpson counties.

Only former Copiah County Sheriff Frank Ainsworth and Copiah County remained as defendants when the case went to trial.

The settlement was reached prior to closing arguments in U.S. District Court. Terms were not disclosed.

Ainsworth testified that he did not want the concert to take place, according to The Clarion-Ledger, and had nearly 90 officers manning two roadblocks. He said the roadblocks were legal because everyone was stopped, not just concertgoers, and he did not seek an injunction to prevent the performance.

“We were stopped and humiliated in front of fans,” 2 Live Crew member Christopher Wong Won reportedly testified. “They had us standing in the rain for 30 to 45 minutes.”

The concert was scheduled for the 11-acre Collins field near Hazlehurst.