Maybe That Mikel Knight Guy Isn’t So Bad; Assault Claim Unverifiable
Following an email we received from a student who later asked that her name be redacted from a story about an alleged assault perpetrated by members of country rapper, Mikel Knight's street team in Mt. Pleasant, local authorities there are saying that no report of an attack or assault was filed.
We reached out to multiple agencies. Not one confirmed reports of anything more than what amounted to nuisance calls. Accusations of aggressive sales pitches are 'the norm' for Mikel Knight street team appearances.
The student that sent the email that spurred the initial report now says that she "is not certain" which authorities were contacted and says she was made aware of the alleged situation in a "group message."
A woman that identified herself as Mikel Knight's publicist, Jennifer Colter, said in an email to 97.5 NOW FM that the claims are "quite disturbing." She also wrote emphatically that claims of human or sex trafficking by the Mikel Knight street team "HASN'T AND DIDN'T AND WILL NOT HAPPEN!"
While Colter suggested that Knight may have a "colorful" past, she asserted in her email that none of the stories that have been circulating about Mikel Knight resulted in arrests "or even questioning from authorities."
Colter may be correct about the more serious allegations of human trafficking and assault, but our sister station Big Frog 104 in New York recently reported about Mikel Knight street team arrests that occurred earlier this month in Pennsylvania for solicitation violations.
Those type of violations seem to be part of the Mikel Knight street team business model, since the groups roll up without notice, bouncing from one parking lot to another.
Despite the seemingly-endless stream of negative publicity around Mikel Knight and his "Dirt Road Street Team," Colter invited us to share a positive story about the group, and in all fairness and after relative due-diligence, we found that, in fact, one does exist.
Colter pointed us to a story about Mikel Knight's work with an Alabama-based non-profit that helps transform ex-offenders and equip them with life skills and employability, through training in the construction field. Yes, it is a story that Colter wrote herself, but, a little additional research suggests that there's some legitimacy to it. And, well, that's great. Because, one of the claims frequently lodged against Mikel Knight's street team is that members tell prospective buyers that some money from sales will go to charity, but there seems to never be an answer for buyers as to which charity and how much of the proceeds will go.
The article indicates that Mikel Knight recently donated $31,000 to the non-profit called A Cut Above The Rest Training Facility, and that it's not the first donation he's made. Photos on the Facebook page belonging to A Cut Above The Rest show Mikel Knight at last week's graduation ceremony and posts by the page confirm that Knight has given the charity money.
"A Cut Above the Rest is my passion and I'm dedicated to ensuring their needs--big or small--are met," Mikel Knight is quoted in the article.
So in the face of some seemingly great news about a musician that so many people know for all the wrong reasons, the question has to be asked to Jennifer Colter, Knight's publicist: Why do we only hear the bad stuff? It's almost as if that's another part of the business model -- keep the good stuff quiet.
Also, if factoring in the risk of citation isn't part of the business model, then why not nip that part of the issue in the bud right now, by stopping showing up at places unannounced and without approval.
If the local Girl Scouts can make arrangements to sell cookies in front of Wal Mart, surely the Country Rap King with his buses and vans and dozens if not hundreds of street team members ought to be able to make similar arrangements.