T.I. Joins Atlanta Protest After Police Officer Kills Rayshard Brooks
Many citizens of the city of Atlanta are up in arms over the death of Rayshard Brooks, a Black man killed by an Atlanta police officer on Friday (June 12). T.I. was among the protesters who demonstrated on the streets against the killing on Saturday (June 13).
Video captured from the protest shows Tip addressing the crowd. “I don't give a damn what your opinion is of the person," the rapper told those in attendance. "I don't give a damn what he did. The man didn’t deserve to die like that. And any policeman out here who stands behind that shit your ass in trouble too, man.”
“We are going to have to organize," he added. "We’re going to have to demonstrate but we are going to have to do it with purpose. And when I say purpose, I mean direction. We’ve got to go where we need to go and do what we need to do in those areas. Everybody needs to choose what it is you need to do, pick your purpose and operate with purpose and direction. And if you don’t do it in the name of Tip, do it in the name of Rashard and all the rest of the people who died at the hands of the police.”
Brooks was shot and killed following a struggle with police officers in a Wendy's parking lot. Video of the incident shows Brooks tussling with officers then breaking free and running away with one of the officer's tasers before being shot multiple times in the back. One of the officers in the case has been fired. The other has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Erika Shields, Atlanta's Chief of Police, resigned following the deadly shooting.
Tip first became aware of the controversial killing on Saturday morning before hopping on Instagram to vent.
"Won't post that video because I believe a part of us dies every time we watch it... but understand this. I AM NOT CONDONING ANY INJUSTICE towards OUR PEOPLE??" he wrote as the caption of an Instagram post addressed to the APD about the shooting. "Been gathering facts & working on solutions since last night... THIS AINT THE ATLANTA I KNOW?? We demand JUSTICE??"
T.I. is one of many rappers who have been very vocal and involved following the killing of George Floyd. On Saturday, he also attended a rally to re-open the case of Kendrick Johnson, a Black teen found dead in a Georgia high school in 2013.
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