T.I. Hits The Atlanta Streets To Protest Rayshard Brooks' Death; Mayor Announces Police Reforms
(AllHipHop News) Rapper/actor T.I. joined protesters on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend to demand justice for another African-American man shot and killed by police on Friday night.
Rayshard Brooks had fallen asleep in his car at a Wendy's drive-through restaurant when he was approached by a white police officer, who was responding to a call about a possible driving under the influence (DUI) incident.
According to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the arresting officer in question has been fired, while the city's Police Chief Erika Shields has stepped down over the incident, which occurs amid ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations calling for police accountability following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer in late May.
T.I. was among the activists in Atlanta on Saturday, when he addressed those at the rally and called for unity to continue the fight to end police brutality.
Discussing Brooks' death, he said, "I don't give a damn what your opinion is of the person. 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 s**t your ass in trouble too."
"We are going to have to organize," he continued, according to video footage obtained by Radio.com. "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."
The "Live Your Life" hitmaker wasn't the only Atlanta hip-hop icon to condemn Brooks' slaying.
Run the Jewels star Killer Mike shared his distress at the young man's death in a lengthy post on Instagram, writing in part, "#RayshardBrooks should be alive this morning. He should be waking up (hungover or drunk in the tank depending on whether he was apprehended) and not dead."
"I'm mad as hell and I am saddened beyond consolation," he added.
Earlier today (June 15th) Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she is signing a series of orders to reform the use of force.
Now cops will be required to try de-escalation tactics before they can use deadly force on a suspect. The officers will also be required to intervene if they see another cop acting out of line.
"This is the beginning of a great deal of work that lies ahead of us to make sure that we do all we can do to protect our communities," Bottoms said. "It is very clear our police officers should be guardians and not warriors within our communities," Mayor Bottoms said.