ATLANTA — The attorneys for music executive Chaka Zulu want police to drop the murder charges against him.
Zulu, who’s real name is Ahmed Obafemi, is the longtime manager of Atlanta rapper Ludacris. He was arrested after a fight outside the APT 4B restaurant in June. Atlanta police said Zulu shot and killed 23-year-old Artez Benton outside the restaurant, which Zulu owns. Zulu was also shot that night but survived.
Last week, police charged Zulu with murder.
Zulu’s lawyers argued that he is actually a victim and was defending himself when he shot Benton. Lawyers said he was attacked by a group of men, including Benton, who got mad that they could not get VIP parking and a table inside the swanky Buckhead restaurant.
“Why this escalated to the point that it did, was that part of the story? Yes. Is it all of the story? I don’t believe so,” attorney Gabe Banks said. “It’s their job to investigate. He don’t have to do a damn thing. So he has been charged with murder wrongfully.”
Banks argued that Zulu tried to de-escalate the situation and prevent one of the men from pulling out a gun until he was attacked from behind.
The arrest warrants say that Zulu choked one man and then slammed him into a car window. The warrant also reveals Zulu shot Benton in the chest and that the bullet grazed a second man’s leg.
On Thursday afternoon, TMZ obtained the video of the shooting, which shows Zulu appear to be ambushed by a group of men after getting into a fight with another man. Several of the men surround Zulu and appear to beat him on the ground.
During the chaotic scene that unfolds, a woman who rushes to help Zulu appears to be punched in the face. Zulu manages to stand back up, pulls out a gun and starts shooting.
Benton’s family said that based on what they read in the arrest warrants, they believe Zulu was the aggressor. Zulu’s lawyers deny that claim.
“To choke someone, hit their head up against the car, then shoot two people, I don’t know,” Benton’s father said.
Zulu was present at the news conference on Thursday as his lawyers addressed the media, but did not speak on behalf of himself.
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