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Toronto rapper Top5 releases music video from jail while awaiting murder trial


Ontario's Solicitor General is trying to figure out how a man awaiting trail on a first-degree murder charge was able to record part of a music video inside his jail cell.

In a clip posted to Instagram this week, Toronto rapper Top5, appears in an orange jumpsuit in a cinderblock room.

"I was 18 when I bought a gun, 22 when I shot your son," he says looking into the camera.

The artist, whose real name is Hassan Ali is behind bars, charged in the Jan. 2021 shooting death of Hashim Omar Hashi, a student who police say had no connections to the criminal world.

According to documents unsealed in an American extradition hearing back in 2021, Ali is a member of the “Go Getem Gang,” a criminal group that organized the botched hit trying to target his brother's killer which he shouts out several times in the music video.

Hashi was mistaken for the person the shooters believed was the killer of Ali’s brother, Said Ali, known as “Foolish”, in 2017, the court filing says.

In a statement to CTV News Toronto, Hunter Kell, a spokesperson for the Solicitor General writes:

"The ministry is aware of an unacceptable incident involving a video posted online that appears to contain images of secure areas of the Maplehurst Correctional Complex. Unauthorized photography of any kind is strictly prohibited inside provincial correctional facilities.

“The ministry has launched a full investigation into this incident and appropriate action will be taken."

Former Toronto homicide detective Mark Mendelson says contraband cellphones aren't uncommon behind bars, but the behaviour shown here is extraordinary.

"I can't think of a particular time where somebody's actually gone out of their way in custody to film a video and then have the audacity to publish it," Mendelson says.

He explains that the fact that Ali is being held in a provincial prison presents possible avenues for a phone to slip through checks.

"In the provincial jails, there are scores of prisoners going in and out every day. They're getting bail, or they're going to court and they're coming back to the facility so there's lots of prisoner transport," Mendelson says.

He adds contraband items can also be smuggled in by visitors, lawyers, staff, even dropped over a fence by drone.

This is not the first time Ali's online activity has got him into trouble.

He was initially charged with accessory to murder in Hashi's death. When he charge was upgraded, Ali allegedly cut off his GPS tracking bracelet and took off to California.

The Los Angeles Police Department says they were able to track him down, based on social media posts.

The year before, he was charged with mischief for allegedly bringing traffic on Highway 401 to a standstill to shoot a music video.

With files from Jon Woodward Top Stories

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