Toronto rapper Hassan Ali, who performs under the name Top5, is wanted in the January murder of Hashim Omar Hashi, 20. Ali, 23, was initially charged as an accessory after the fact in March and was living under house arrest since then. However, police upgraded the charge to first-degree murder. When police ordered him to turn himself in, he allegedly broke off his ankle bracelet and fled, police sources told the Toronto Star.
Hashi was in his car when he was shot on the night of Jan. 31. Police said a car pulled up behind Hashi's car and one suspect came out. The suspect ran up to Hashi's passenger side and fired gunshots into the car, police said, CTV News reported in February. Hashi was pronounced dead at the scene, and police said Hashi had no known links to criminal activity. There is also no known connection between Ali and Hashi.
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At first, police said Ali was in the backseat of the vehicle at the time of the murder, and he and another person allegedly went home to change clothes. In February, Ali and Emmanuel Missah, 24, were both charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Ali also faced charges of failing to comply with probation and drug-related offenses. Around the time of his initial arrest in February, Ali's lawyer, Jordan Silver, said his client maintained his innocence, reports CBC. "There's still a lot of information surrounding this that we're unaware of," Silver said at the time. Ali was released on bail in March.
Ali was in court earlier this month, appearing remotely. He asked the judge to change his bail conditions so he could post content on social media sites. Supreme Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru denied the request but said there was no reason Ali's management could not post on his pages. "That's how he moves his career forward, although his personal social media access was denied, his management can post on his behalf, but he can't," Ali's lawyer Kim Schofield told the Toronto Star earlier this month.
Bans on social media use as part of bail conditions have become common in Toronto. In Ali's case, his critics have said his lyrics and commentary had influenced shootings in Toronto, including three different occasions when people fired at his family's house. Police said the shootings were in retaliation for Ali's social media content. In the past, Ali has said he only raps about "what sells." He has over 135,000 followers on Instagram and over 20,000 YouTube subscribers. The music video for his song "Heard of Me" has over 2.5 million views.