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Jury finds rapper Tory Lanez guilty of shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The singer and rapper Tony (ph) Lanez has been found guilty of assaulting rapper Megan Thee Stallion with a firearm. The Canadian artist, who is 30 years old, was convicted of three felony charges in a Los Angeles courtroom today. The case was about an incident where Tony (ph) Lanez allegedly shot Megan Thee Stallion in both feet following a late-night argument in a vehicle. That was in July of 2020. NPR's Sidney Madden joins us with the latest. Hey there.

SIDNEY MADDEN, BYLINE: Hey, thank you.

KELLY: All right. Let's start. I want to hear - have we heard reaction yet from Megan Thee Stallion's camp? Have we heard reaction yet from the defense?

MADDEN: There's been a lot of reactions, a lot of emotional reactions. I just do want to say the rapper who was convicted - his name is Tory Lanez.

KELLY: Tory Lanez - thank you.

MADDEN: Yeah, no problem. And there hasn't been much of a statement from Megan herself yet, although her attorney did share a very short statement that said the jury got it right. As for the defense, they've had very visceral reactions, very emotional reactions outside of the courthouse and even on social media.

KELLY: And just walk us back to that moment in July 2020 and what exactly the circumstances were around the shooting.

MADDEN: Yeah, the circumstances of everything stemmed from a dispute that took place in mid-July of 2020 after both rappers left a pool party from Kylie Jenner's house in the Hollywood Hills. So after they left this party, Megan and Tory got into a very loud and physical argument in their vehicle that spilled out into the street and resulted in Megan being shot in both feet.

KELLY: Hmm. Now, one of the things that's been distinctive here has been how divided the hip-hop world has been by the incident, by this trial. There's been so much information about it. Speak to that.

MADDEN: Yeah, absolutely. And let me just say, as a member of the media myself, this has been very frustrating to see hip-hop media spread disinformation and misinformation. So basically, there are very rabid supporters of Tory who, from the very beginning, have not only not believed that Tory was the shooter, but even some have gone as far to deny that Megan was ever even shot at all. This disbelief of Megan as a victim and spread of misinformation - things like Tory's DNA not being found on the gun when it blatantly said during the trial proceedings that it was inconclusive - it all speaks to a larger problem, a larger social issue of misogynoir, which is the specific type of misogyny that affects and disadvantages Black women based on their race and gender.

KELLY: Yeah. And you've been actually at the trial, at the courthouse, right?

MADDEN: Yeah.

KELLY: What kind of a reaction are you hearing?

MADDEN: We're hearing very polarizing reactions. Tory's father - as soon as he heard the verdict, there was an outburst in court. And they have vowed to fight the verdict.

KELLY: Yeah. And sentencing - when are we expecting that?

MADDEN: Yeah. Tory was remanded and taken into custody as soon as the verdict was read out, and he's due back for sentencing in late January.

KELLY: All right. That is NPR Music's Sidney Madden, who has been following this trial. And again, the headline, the singer and rapper Tony - Tory Lanez has been found guilty of assaulting rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Thank you so much.

MADDEN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.
Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.
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