Warrant issued for DA candidate in rap campaign video

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — An arrest warrant was issued for a Georgia district attorney candidate accused of endangering the public after he participated in a campaign video featuring a car driving recklessly on government property, authorities said Tuesday.

Mark Jones is wanted by Columbus police and accused of putting the general public in danger while filming a campaign rap video titled “Get Out And Vote," news outlets reported. Jones was the district attorney candidate for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

Columbus Lieutenant Lance Deaton said Jones is wanted on felony and misdemeanor warrants. Details on the charges weren't immediately released.

Police said they were actively looking for Jones. Anyone with information should contact police.

The May 17 video posted on Facebook Monday featured Jones, Rapper JawGaBoi, and an overhead shot of a car burning rubber while cutting doughnuts in the parking lot of the Columbus Civic Center.

Police said the Jones campaign did not get a permit to shoot the ad, adding that the video led to the arrest of Christopher Mandel Black, 23, and Erik Deangelo Whittington, 24, on Friday.

Both Black and Whittington face several charges including felony interference with government property and first-degree criminal damage to property, records show.

A Facebook live video posted on Jones' campaign’s page Saturday accused his challenger in the race, the incumbent district attorney Julia Slater, of using the arrests to try “to suppress the vote to stay in power” and “steal an election.”

Both Slater and police have denied that she was a part of the investigation against the two men.

Ana Cecilia Grimmett, Black’s girlfriend, told the Columbus Ledger Enquirer the arrests was “all Mark Jones’ fault.” She alleges Jones told her boyfriend he’s going to be OK when Black asked him about the legality of cutting doughnuts in the parking lot. According to Grimmett, her boyfriend participated but was not the driver of the car featured in the final campaign video.

Black’s lawyer, Attorney Stacey Jackson, said her client does not have a criminal history and has a full preliminary hearing on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear when Whittington’s hearing will be held.

The Democratic primary for the district attorney seat will be held on June 9.

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