By KRISTEN WYATT
ATLANTA (AP) – A best-selling rapper filmed an unauthorized video at the Fulton County Jail while out on work release from another jail, embarrassed county officials said.
Part of a video for rapper Clifford Harris, whose stage name is T.I., was shot Thursday night, authorities said.
An Atlantic Records spokesman for the rapper did not immediately return calls for comment.
Harris’ first album, “I’m Serious,” was released in 2001. His second album, “Trap Muzik,” was a best-seller on the charts last year.
Harris was serving jail time in neighboring Cobb County on a probation violation when he received permission to leave the jail to make the tape at the Fulton jail, Cobb County Chief Deputy Sheriff Lynda Coker said.
A spokesman for Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett said she had no idea a rap video was being filmed inside the 3,200-inmate jail. Deputies apparently allowed “four or five” men up to the seventh floor with a hand-held camcorder, Barrett said. Barrett said the deputies would be disciplined.
Coker said officials in her county didn’t block the request at that end because “we felt that the Fulton County Jail was not an inappropriate destination for him to be.” Harris had served time at Fulton previously, officials said.
He reported back to the Cobb jail early Friday, Coker said.
Fulton County Chairwoman Karen Handel, who has long been critical of Barrett, blasted the sheriff.
“You’re going to have a video crew roaming around the jail? I don’t understand why that was even remotely considered,” Handel said.
Last week, a monitor released a report last week saying conditions at the crowded Fulton jail were becoming increasingly dangerous and unhealthy. There have also been a string of 10 escapes or accidental releases from the jail in the last 16 months.
(Rewrites throughout to correct that authorities now say Harris was an inmate at another county jail and was at the Fulton jail for the taping as part of a work-release program.)