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‘The Chi’ stararrested for drugs

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A fired star of the hit Showtime series “The Chi” who was also featured in the Academy Award-nominated film “Straight Outta Compton” has been arrested on drugs and weapons charges on Mississippi’s coast.

Jason Mitchell, who portrayed Brandon Johnson on the cable series’ first two seasons, was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop in Gulfport, Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said in a news release. Mitchell was released later Wednesday after posting a $150,000 surety bond.

Deputies searched Mitchell’s SUV and found about 2 pounds of marijuana wrapped in separate packages along with a bag of 1,300 dosage units of Ecstasy, Peterson said. Deputies also found an AK-47 firearm and a Glock 9mm pistol with extended magazines, he said.

Jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney who could comment.

A representative for the actor told TMZ, “News stories move fast and oftentimes without all of the facts. This misunderstanding will be resolved shortly. We trust that the court systems (sic) blind justice will protect Jason’s rights and allow him to tell his story.”

Mitchell, 33, of New Orleans, faces multiple counts, including possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Mitchell achieved critical acclaim for his role as rapper Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton,” the story about the rise of the rap group N.W.A., as well as for his work in 2017’s “Mudbound.”

A third season of “The Chi,” a drama about life in a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, is planned without Mitchell, who was fired amid allegations of misconduct. Details have not been revealed about what he was accused of doing, though the show’s creator, Lena Waithe, made multiple mentions of sexual harassment in a 2019 interview on the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club.”

Conspiracy theories twist singer’s death

CHICAGO (AP) — Conspiracy theorists are twisting facts online about country singer Joe Diffie’s death from COVID-19 complications in an effort to promote their claims that health officials are exaggerating the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Diffie, who topped the charts in the 1990s with honky-tonk singles including “Home” and “Pickup Man,” died in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 29 after he tested positive for the virus. He was 61.

In the days following his death, Facebook and Twitter users posing as internet sleuths falsely claimed media reports hid that he had lung cancer. He did not. The untrue claims appear to have stemmed from an obituary posted online for Diffie’s father, Joe Diffie Sr., who passed away in November 2018 from cancer.

The inaccurate claim about Diffie is one of many from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users seeking to sow doubt about the impact of coronavirus. Many of them claim that health officials, government leaders and media outlets have overblown the danger of the virus, millions being infected with it worldwide.

Diffie’s widow, Tara Terpening Diffie, pleaded on Instagram for people to stop sharing the misinformation about her husband. In a statement, she said she hoped to set the record straight about her husband’s death so that their family can focus on grieving for Diffie and celebrating the Grand Ole Opry member’s legacy.

By Kerry Minor

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