Talitha Funchess, 43, is being evicted from her subsidized apartment in the South Loop because her 20-year-old son appeared in a rap video.
Actually, he appeared in a very bad rap video.
Funchess has lived in the 2100 block of South Michigan building since 2009.
Last month she received a "Notice of Termination of Tenancy" from Metroplex Inc., notifying her that the lease was being terminated because her son, Kenneth Coffie, "appeared in a posted video using profanity, degrading language and flashing gang signs on the project grounds, in violation of Paragraphs 8 and 9" of the lease.
According to Paragraph 8 of Funchess' lease: "Neither Tenant or any of Tenant's guests shall perform or permit any practice that may damage the reputation of or otherwise be injurious to the Building or neighborhood, or be disturbing to other tenants, or be illegal."
Paragraph 9 of the lease defines "unlawful" behavior as, including but not limited to the "possession, use or sale of illegal drugs, and disturbances or acts of violence."
It’s so cold in the Chi.
"What they appear to be saying is that you can be evicted even if your son wasn't arrested," noted Michelle Gilbert, a supervising attorney at LAF, formerly known as the Legal Assistance Foundation.
LAF provides free legal assistance to low-income and elderly people in Chicago and the surrounding area and has agreed to represent Funchess.
"The reason that they want to evict her and actually filed a court case is because her son appears momentarily in a video where no one is committing a crime. We have three cases where people are being evicted because their sons have been in videos," Gilbert said.
"I think this is the most absurd of the cases. I think people have a right to make a bad rap video."
We can think of a few other words other than “absurd” to describe this situation.
John Kennedy, vice president of operations for Metropolex, declined to discuss Funchess' specific case.
"We would look at the issue individually and not the mere fact that someone posted a video," he said in a brief telephone interview.
"All I mean is that every case is unique in and of itself to the extent that we issue any termination notice of violation."
These muhfuggas are really serious about throwing this lady and her family out over a YouTube video!
Image via John H. White/Sun-Times
If you have interest in seeing the “rap” video that is the source of all the controversy, hit the flipper.