Chaka Zulu attorneys criticize APD for investigation into June Buckhead shooting

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Attorneys for Atlanta music executive Ahmed Obafemi, better known as Chaka Zulu, are speaking out after a murder charge was brought down in connection to a fatal June shooting in Buckhead.

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Chaka Zulu, who is the longtime manager for the Grammy award-winning rapper Ludacris, was involved in an incident outside of a Buckhead restaurant in June.

The Atlanta Police Department officials responded with a brief statement:

Zulu claims he was attacked by a group of men and he was forced to defend himself.

In a statement from his attorney Gabe Banks, Zulu alleges that if he “had not lawfully defended himself, he (Chaka Zulu) would have been killed that night.”

According to a criminal warrant obtained by CBS46, Zulu “knowingly and intentionally did commit the offense of murder, shooting Artez Jamil Benton in the chest with a firearm causing his death.”

Atlanta Police describe arriving to the scene at the Apartment 4B Restaurant to find three men with gunshot wounds. One of the men was Zulu who was struck in the back. The other was Benton who did not survive his injuries.

RELATED: Outpouring of online support for Ludacris’ manager charged with murder

While Zulu’s attorneys allege he was confronted by a gang, Benton’s family says their son was never in a gang and described the 23-year-old as a family man with dreams of moving to New England.

“He did everything he was supposed to do, he made sure he talked about that, he had a mission,” said Artez Benton’s mother, Bridget Benton.

Benton’s family also put out this statement:

During the press conference, Zulu’s attorneys criticized the Atlanta Police Department for not bringing charges down against the other people involved in the June 26 altercation. Attorney Gabe Banks claimed his team turned over what they described as “critical witnesses” for APD to interview, but according to Zulu’s legal team, those witness interviews never took place.

Instead, the attorney’s claimed APD reviewed surveillance video of that night showing the altercation and later shooting, and allegedly pushed for murder charges against Chaka Zulu using that evidence alone.

Zulu reportedly turned himself in on Sept. 13 and was booked into the Fulton County jail. He was released that same day on bond.

CBS46 has reached out to the Atlanta Police Department and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for a statement.

Zulu was honored earlier this year by the Atlanta Hawks as one of their Forever 404 honorees.