LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it would not seek criminal charges and has closed its investigation into a rapper’s tweet that prompted hundreds of calls to a sheriff’s station, jamming phone lines for hours.
Capt. Mike Parker said Wednesday that the department decided to drop the matter after conducting an investigation and consulting with the district attorney’s office. He also welcomed an apology the rapper, known as The Game, made to the department.
“His willingness to help share with the media and the community that the safety of the public is what is most important is a great message,” Parker said in a statement.
The tweet posted on The Game’s Twitter account on Friday encouraged his 580,000 followers to call a number if they wanted an internship.
That number turned out to be the Compton station’s official help line.
Phones at the southeast Los Angeles County station were jammed by hundreds of calls for more than two hours, prompting authorities to bring in additional help. Many callers hung up as soon as someone answered, while others asked deputies about a music internship.
The sheriff’s department said during that time people with legitimate issues that included a missing person, spousal abuse and two robberies were also trying to call in.
The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, later told CNN it was a “joke gone wrong.”
“I never intended for anybody to take it the wrong way or for it to go this far, and just, you know, I think it’s all nonsense,” he said.
Parker said the department was consulting with legal experts to see whether legislation could be developed to address social media messages that may cause harm to public safety, while still respecting individuals’ rights to freedom of speech.