EXCLUSIVE: Young Thug Prosecutors Seek To Ban Video Cameras From Trial Over Witness Safety Concerns

Young Thug

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her team filed a motion to block video recordings of Young Thug’s RICO trial.

Prosecutors asked a judge to not allow video cameras inside the courtroom for Young Thug’s RICO trial.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed a motion to prohibit video recordings of Young Thug’s trial on November 30. Prosecutors claimed video recordings would raise issues for witnesses in the case.

“Several witnesses have expressed safety concerns to the State and they are concerned about the safety of themselves and their families should they choose to testify,” Willis explained. “The State is concerned that video recordings of witnesses’ and victims’ faces could endanger these individuals’ safety.”

She continued, “Further, the State is concerned about the impact upon due process and the truth-finding function of the judicial proceeding; witnesses may be afraid to testify and provide full information if they are aware they are being video-recorded, and that their personal safety could be jeopardized as a result of their testimony.”

Willis and her team previously filed a motion to restrict juror identity in August. The district attorney’s office sought to block video recordings as it anticipates significant media coverage for the duration of Young Thug’s trial.

Prosecutors urged the judge to ban video to “protect the integrity of the trial process.” Willis had no objections to audio recordings of the trial.

“Permitting an audio recording while prohibiting video recording will protect the safety of witnesses and other associated parties while still recognizing and supporting this State’s policy favoring open judicial proceedings,” she noted. “This Court has the discretion to determine whether or not to allow electronic and photographic coverage of the proceedings; the State simply asks this Court to prohibit video recording of the trial, while permitting audio recordings so the process will remain open to the public.”

Young Thug, Gunna and other YSL members were indicted on racketeering charges in May. Their trial is scheduled to begin in January 2023.