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In 2008, the FBI released an investigation file on James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” detailing his involvement in a 1988 police chase across South Carolina and Georgia. After being arrested for drugs and weapons charges in May of that year, Brown was pursued by police in September in a car chase on Interstate 20, near the South Carolina-Georgia border. After an hour of pursuit, Brown was caught, charged and convicted of carrying an unlicensed pistol, assaulting an officer, being in possession of illegal substances and violating various driving laws. While “Soul Brother Number One” was sentenced to six years in prison for these offenses, he was released in 1991 after serving only three years. According to the FBI file, Brown claimed that the high-speed chase was completely fabricated and that local authorities shot at his car and assaulted him. This story resulted in a plea bargain at an appeal and Brown’s release. While this incident was among a series of legal problems toward the end of Brown’s career, these stories were not remembered in the soul singer’s legacy upon his death on Christmas Day of 2006.
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