Russell Simmons/HSAN withdraws from rally in response to assault by rapper Tony Yayo on 14-year-old boy

Though G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo pleaded not guilty to harassment and endangering the welfare of a child after police accused him of slapping and hitting a 14-year-old boy, a call-to-action conference and rally was held in New York with some hip-hop leaders refraining from participation.

Yayo allegedly struck the son of Jimmy “Henchmen” Rosemond, head of Czar Entertainment who handles the career of G-Unit rival the Game. The boy was wearing a shirt with the company’s name on it when he was allegedly attacked.

G-Unit front man 50 Cent reportedly was not involved in the altercation.

Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) withdrew from the press conference called by Czar Entertainment, the mother of the boy, community leaders, parents and students.

“HSAN is impartial and will not take sides in this dispute,” wrote Simmons and HSAN in a statement. “Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis hope the issues between Tony Yayo and Jimmy Henchmen and Czar Entertainment will be resolved peacefully and as soon as possible.”

–Margena A. Christian