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View Full Version : Radio host arrested: What are the limits of Freedom of Speech?


Volcana
May 12th, 2006, 11:45 PM
Of course, not every country guarantees freedom of speech. Things like this may be why...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/12/nyregion/12cnd-dj.html?hp&ex=1147492800&en=0014b94690943cb8&ei=5094&partner=homepage
A syndicated disc jockey with one of the city's leading hip-hop radio stations was arrested this afternoon for making on-air threats to track down and sexually abuse the 4-year-old daughter of a rival, the police said.

Troi Torain, the disc jockey known by the name D.J. Star, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, the Manhattan district attorney's office said. Law enforcement officials had launched an investigation into his remarks on Thursday after reviewing a transcript of his recent rants about D.J. Envy and his family. Read more .... (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/12/nyregion/12cnd-dj.html?hp&ex=1147492800&en=0014b94690943cb8&ei=5094&partner=homepage)

I managed to track down the transcript of what he actually said.

http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=59400
"Where does this kid go to school? I got $500 bucks for that information. Somebody email me or give me a call. Just tell me where his kid goes to school, Torain said on the air earlier this week. Let's see who's really gully on the microphone. Five-hundred dollars in my pocket right now - I need to know the school where this DJ's kid goes to school.

"If you didn't hear me, I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed, on your little baby girl, continued Torain, referring to singer R. Kelly, who has been accused of having sex with underage girls.HIs defense will be 'I didn't mean it', as he can't deny saying it. And he may well NOT have meant it. The hosts on radio stations have advocated everything from mass murder to mass deportation in the last few years. In the USA anyway, the medium is a free-for-all. But IMHO, this guy needs to go to jail. If threatening sexual molestation of a child, and offering to pay for information to carry out that molestation, isn't enough to send you to jail, what is?

Denise4925
May 12th, 2006, 11:49 PM
I don't think it really has anything to do with freedom of speech, but he's making terroristic threats and probably would have been arrested if he had made them against an adult, let alone a child. What an idiot. Where were the station's owners, managers and lawyers to stop that fool? They may lose their FCC license over this mess.

Volcana
May 12th, 2006, 11:58 PM
Where were the station's owners, managers and lawyers to stop that fool? They may lose their FCC license over this mess.He's already been fired, and the station has apologised to the family. And the FCC is looking at them. But I doubt they'll lose their license.

Infiniti2001
May 13th, 2006, 12:21 AM
He's a creep and deserve it :rolleyes: I mean, for a grownass man to publicly talk about sexually abusing a 4 year old albeit as a joke is beyond sick:fiery: Who knows, he's probably abused kids before which is why he should be investigated :mad:Anyway, that's probably the ONLY way to end his radio career considering how amoral these radio chains are.:tape:

Staticbeef
May 13th, 2006, 12:27 AM
He's already been fired, and the station has apologised to the family. And the FCC is looking at them. But I doubt they'll lose their license.

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Star Arrested For Controversial Comments Made On Air
By Nolan Strong
Date: 5/12/2006 4:50 pm





Hip-Hop DJ Star was arrested today (May 12) on charges of harassment and child endangerment, after making racially charged comments during his top-rated radio show, The Star & Bucwild Morning Show.

Star, born Troi Torain, was taken into custody at a police precinct in Lower Manhattan to face the misdemeanor charges, following a probe by the New York Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force.

The shock-jock was fired by Clear Channel executives Wednesday (May 10) for making racial and sexual remarks about Hot 97's DJ Envy, his wife Gia Casey and their 4-year-old daughter.


The two DJ's had traded insults over the week. The rivalry reached its peak when Star offered $500 to any listener that would provide information about Envy's daughter's school. He also referred to Gia Casey as a "slant-eyed whore."

"I will come for your kids," Torain said before referring to the 4-year-old as a "mongrel" and "little half a lo mein eater." Star also said he wanted to "do an R. Kelly" on the child and made several references threatening to molest and urinate on the child.

"We sincerely apologize to those who may have been offended by his remarks," New York market manager Rob Williams said in a statement.

Star has already issued an apology through his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, who called his client's remarks "unsuitable and inappropriate." Brafman also placed blame on Envy, claiming he had threatened Star earlier in the week.

Star joined Clear Channel Radio in 2004 after hosting the syndicated Star & Bucwild Morning Show on Hot 97 for several years.

According to reports, Star was also ordered to surrender his 9mm handgun and a target practice permit.

Star has done no more than any other shock Jock on the air today ala Howard stern, Wendy Williams, South Park, the Daily show, they all do things for ratings, the question is where is the line drawn?????? If you look at this case without ever listening or knowing his material, you may find yourself at a disadvantage as far as information is concerned. Star has been Beefing with Hot 97 for many years now, insults were flying back and forth, Star recently came out ahead of 97 in the ratings so the war escalated. I am not defending what he said, but anybody that knows him know, Star would never do any of the things he said, it was ment to get at the Kids father DJ Benjie. Cobo BoBo

griffin
May 13th, 2006, 12:27 AM
talk about sexually abusing a 4 year old albeit as a joke is beyond sick

The fact that a person could find the abuse of a child someting to joke about is pretty sick in and of itself.

I'm pretty permissive when it comes to "free speech" but I've go no problem drawing a line at threatening to harm another person, or inciting other to harm a person.

Kart
May 13th, 2006, 12:28 AM
I'm not sure he should go to jail just for saying it but I would sack him and cut out his tongue.

Xanadu11
May 13th, 2006, 12:32 AM
I don't know why everyone always brings out 'freedom of speech' when anythiing happens, as if it is some blanket thing which allows us to say whatever we want. Hello defamation law...

Denise4925
May 13th, 2006, 12:41 AM
You all keep talking about freedom of speech. It's not a freedom of speech case when someone makes a terroristic threat against another human being. There are limits in the law to that particular freedom, and threats of violence against another human being is one of them.

Pheobo
May 13th, 2006, 02:17 AM
That's not a first amendment violation...it's threatening and potentially life endangering. He needs to go to jail for a while.

ZAK
May 13th, 2006, 02:36 AM
Is there any serious reason to believe he was actually going to do anything? If not, I don't see how he could go to jail

tommyk75
May 13th, 2006, 02:43 AM
He DID do something. He threatened to rape a little girl. Empty threat or not, that IS illegal and he should be punished as such.

ZAK
May 13th, 2006, 03:07 AM
So is every empty threat illegal?

I think as a public we need to pick better battles to be honest. Obviously this girl desereves every opportunity to be safe, but c'mon DJ say absoluely retarded things. Hell, people say stupid things constantly, lets put them all in jail...

Rtael
May 13th, 2006, 03:59 AM
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said but everyone stop fucking saying "teroristic threat." It's really annoying - you're just using a stupid buzz word to try to elicit emotion. Ugh.

Rtael
May 13th, 2006, 04:00 AM
So is every empty threat illegal?

I think as a public we need to pick better battles to be honest. Obviously this girl desereves every opportunity to be safe, but c'mon DJ say absoluely retarded things. Hell, people say stupid things constantly, lets put them all in jail...

You must hang with a pretty sick crowd if it's a usual thing to threaten to rape a 4 year old child.

Volcana
May 13th, 2006, 05:55 AM
Star has done no more than any other shock Jock on the air today ala Howard stern, Wendy Williams, South Park, the Daily showWith all due respect, that isn't true. Howard Stern, Wendy Williams et al, never threatened to sexually molest a four year old. Or offerred money for information to help them perpetuate the crime.
I am not defending what he said, but anybody that knows him know, Star would never do any of the things he said, it was ment to get at the Kids father DJ Benjie. Cobo BoBoI worked with a guy for three years who on day disappeared. Just didn't show up at work, after 23 years. Turned out, he'd raped his eight year old niece, then run for it. Guess what? 'anybody that knows him know.... he would never do any of the things ....'

a) WE DON'T KNOW HIM

b) Child molesters are ALL people that other people 'know'

Volcana
May 13th, 2006, 05:56 AM
Just as a note, who here has kids, and who doesn't?

As far as I'm concerned, after you say something like that, it's up to YOU to prove you didn't mean it. If I threaten to commit a crime, and acually offer money for information to help me commit that crime, why should anybody assume I'm not serious.

And tell Biggie Smalls about 'just kidding'.

tenn_ace
May 13th, 2006, 06:07 AM
I don't think it really has anything to do with freedom of speech, but he's making terroristic threats and probably would have been arrested if he had made them against an adult, let alone a child. What an idiot. Where were the station's owners, managers and lawyers to stop that fool? They may lose their FCC license over this mess.


This is the first time E-V-E-R that I totally agree with you.:p

That idiot deserves what he got. :bounce:

BUBI
May 13th, 2006, 06:21 AM
Please change the title, this has nothing to do with freedom of speech! :shrug:

nicky
May 13th, 2006, 08:29 AM
Just as a note, who here has kids, and who doesn't?

As far as I'm concerned, after you say something like that, it's up to YOU to prove you didn't mean it. If I threaten to commit a crime, and acually offer money for information to help me commit that crime, why should anybody assume I'm not serious.

And tell Biggie Smalls about 'just kidding'.

I've got a kid, and I think it's absolutely sick what this man did :mad: . Even if he didn't mean it.
What if the kid accidentally heard?(don't be mistaken, kids constantly pick up what is said on the radio, even when we don't).
What if some mentally unstable listener/fan got ideas in his head? :scared:

I don't know if this guy should go to jail, but he should get a serious punishment, that's for sure. Freedom of speech does not include threatening other people...

meyerpl
May 13th, 2006, 11:51 AM
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said but everyone stop fucking saying "teroristic threat." It's really annoying - you're just using a stupid buzz word to try to elicit emotion. Ugh.
The term terrorism and terroristic are being beaten to death and used in the context of justifying all sorts of crazy things since 911, however; in some states, crimes such as this and threats of domestic violence are called "terroristic threats" in the statutes and have been for many years. Minnesota is one example. Some posters may be from one of those states and would be familiar with hearing a charge worded that way.

Infiniti2001
May 13th, 2006, 02:40 PM
The term terrorism and terroristic are being beaten to death and used in the context of justifying all sorts of crazy things since 911, however; in some states, crimes such as this and threats of domestic violence are called "terroristic threats" in the statutes and have been for many years. Minnesota is one example. Some posters may be from one of those states and would be familiar with hearing a charge worded that way.

So true, but whether or not it's been over-used, it's suits perfectly here. This is a grown man threatening a 4 year old for crying out loud. :rolleyes:

Wigglytuff
May 13th, 2006, 04:47 PM
With all due respect, that isn't true. Howard Stern, Wendy Williams et al, never threatened to sexually molest a four year old. Or offerred money for information to help them perpetuate the crime.
I worked with a guy for three years who on day disappeared. Just didn't show up at work, after 23 years. Turned out, he'd raped his eight year old niece, then run for it. Guess what? 'anybody that knows him know.... he would never do any of the things ....'

a) WE DON'T KNOW HIM

b) Child molesters are ALL people that other people 'know'
I agree one hundred percent.

and would like to add that while I don't listen to howard whatshisname or wendy williams I have seen every episode of south park at least three times each and can say that they have never nor will they ever offer money to anyone who can get info on a child so they may be molested and abuse. to do so has NOTHING TO DO WITH FREE SPEECH AND IS A CRIME and one that should be punished.

meyerpl
May 13th, 2006, 05:53 PM
So true, but whether or not it's been over-used, it's suits perfectly here. This is a grown man threatening a 4 year old for crying out loud. :rolleyes:
In lay-terms, people think of terrorism and/or terroristic threats as acts against random people calculated to invoke terror in the general public. Where the confusion lies is in the fact that the term 'terroristic threats' has been written into statutes for many years to include a broad spectrum of behavior having nothing to do with the current vernacular.

Steam
May 14th, 2006, 07:40 AM
Keep in mind, this is the same guy who played the plane crashing sound effects when Aaliyah died.

He definitely went too far on this one (especially considering that the great Opie & Anthony were once fired for joking that the Mayor of Boston died in a car accident on April Fool's Day). He probably was joking but when he through out the bounty on information what was to stop one of his fans from pulling some stunt?

Plus, I think the guy is an annoying hack who helped turn me off commercial radio.

TF Chipmunk
May 14th, 2006, 08:16 AM
I don't like how this thread title is worded. This guy's comments go beyond freedom of speech, it's threatening a child, so why even question the "limits of freedom of speech" as if the police violated his First Amendment rights when we all see how sick and twisted this guy is/potentially could have been?

DunkMachine
May 14th, 2006, 09:59 AM
What a dumbass, THE KID IS 4!!!!!!!!!

gentenaire
May 14th, 2006, 10:20 AM
:eek:

Wendy Williams
May 15th, 2006, 12:40 PM
I don't think it really has anything to do with freedom of speech, but he's making terroristic threats and probably would have been arrested if he had made them against an adult, let alone a child. What an idiot. Where were the station's owners, managers and lawyers to stop that fool? They may lose their FCC license over this mess.

I don't think it really has anything to do with freedom of speech, but he's making terroristic threats and probably would have been arrested if he had made them against an adult, let alone a child. What an idiot. Where were the station's owners, managers and lawyers to stop that fool? They may lose their FCC license over this mess.

Denise, Star works for Clear Channel, the entertainment conglomerate that has destroyed radio by monopolizing it, making it primarily about advertising dollars which is why any no-talent (Michael Baisden, Lynda Lopez, come to mind) can get a lucrative on-air gig. :lol:

Im a mother of a 5 year-old and Ive miscarried 4 times. Friend or no friend Star doesnt have my support. You just dont say that! From someone whos been in his shoes yous have to keep in mind that its the times within which we live that makes some radio personalities be so outrageous. Many avid radio listeners like their radio talk greasy not corny which is why the Howards, the Wendys, the O&As are popular. Star was just doing what he thought his audience wanted. He'll find a way back I'm sure.

Volcana
May 19th, 2006, 05:16 AM
I don't like how this thread title is worded. This guy's comments go beyond freedom of speech, it's threatening a child, so why even question the "limits of freedom of speech" as if the police violated his First Amendment rights when we all see how sick and twisted this guy is/potentially could have been?THe thread title mentions 'Freedom of Speech' precisely BECAUSE some people think that means they can say anything they want, without fear of prosecution. In fact, (and we proof of this in this forum every week) some people believe 'Freedom of Speech' means they can say whatever they want without fear of disagreement.

I had the fortune/misfortune to spend eight years studying child molesters, their victims, and the effects of the assault. I DON'T know if this DJ was serious. i DO know plenty of people who WERE serious have said similar things.

This is the same thing as saying to the person searching you when you board the plane 'whadya think? I got a bomb?' 9 out 0f 10 people who'd say that are joking. NONE of them get on the plane. He's GOT to go to jail. Or every psychopath in America is going to use whatever defense he presents as a precedent.

Wigglytuff
May 19th, 2006, 05:22 AM
THe thread title mentions 'Freedom of Speech' precisely BECAUSE some people think that means they can say anything they want, without fear of prosecution. In fact, (and we proof of this in this forum every week) some people believe 'Freedom of Speech' means they can say whatever they want without fear of disagreement.

I had the fortune/misfortune to spend eight years studying child molesters, their victims, and the effects of the assault. I DON'T know if this DJ was serious. i DO know plenty of people who WERE serious have said similar things.

This is the same thing as saying to the person searching you when you board the plane 'whadya think? I got a bomb?' 9 out 0f 10 people who'd say that are joking. NONE of them get on the plane. He's GOT to go to jail. Or every psychopath in America is going to use whatever defense he presents as a precedent.
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