Feature, Hip Hop

T.I. & Killer Mike Speak Out On Police Killing Rayshard Brooks In Atlanta

Another unarmed black man was shot dead in Atlanta this weekend. T.I. and Killer Mike are now reacting to the recent police brutality victim from their hometown.

Atlanta rappers T.I. and Killer Mike were disheartened by the killing of another black man in their city. Rayshard Brooks appeared to have had a night out of drinking that ended with him falling asleep in the drive-thru at Wendy’s. Soon after, restaurant staff called the police about a man passed out in his vehicle that is causing customers to drive around him just to approach the drive-thru window.

Something that normal civilians would consider an easy fix ended in a deadly shooting for the Atlanta Police department. According to the AJC, the drunk man was awoken by cops who proceeded to give him a sobriety test. Brooks reportedly failed – no surprise there but what was surprising is the events that followed. In his drunken state, Brooks apparently gave the cops a warm time when they attempted to arrest him before running away unarmed and inebriated.

That is when the Atlanta police opened fire and left rounds in the back of another unarmed black man, this time one not even in a sober state of mind. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the immediate termination of the officer that is responsible for the death of Rayshard Brooks. Also, head of the Atlanta Police department, Chief Erika Shields resigned from her post on Saturday after the fatal shooting by one of her men.

The killing of Rayshard Brooks was captured on a video which has been circulating online. T.I. refused to post the footage when he spoke out on the incident on Instagram. Below a post that read, “APD WTF?!” with the expletives emoji, the rapper said, “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!!” T.I. wrote.

Killer Mike also shared a lengthy post on Instagram with Rayshard Brooks’s name and image. “#RayshardBrooks should be alive this morning. He should be waking up (hungover drunk in the tank depending on whether he was apprehended) and not dead,” he wrote.

“I am mad as hell and I am saddened beyond consolation,” he continued. “At a minimum, we need a law that prevents shooting a person while they’re fleeing. If there is no weapon, fleeing from an officer should be a foot chase and radio race. If a person gets away, they get away.”

People have been reacting to the sad news online all weekend. Rapper Wale who seems beyond frustrated at this point took to Twitter to say, “We wake up to this sh*t. When the f**k do we even get time to heal? F**k this sh*t.”

Both T.I. and Killer Mike have been active in the fight against social justice especially recently with protests taking place all over the country. “Been gathering facts & working on solutions since last night… THIS AINT THE ATLANTA I KNOW!! We demand JUSTICE!!” T.I. added to his post. Killer Mike also went on to ask supporters to share organizations “who are doing the work, day in and day out” to end police killings as he will continue to support them. Recently, the two rappers appeared alongside the Mayor of Atlanta to implore their fellow Atlantians to not destroy the city during protests.

The killing of Rayshard Brooks has cut a fresh wound in the resilient back of the black community yet again. Unlike the hundreds of senseless killings of a black man before, this time no one will stay quiet as we can see with the reactions online. This time action will be swift as we’ve seen with the mayor’s order for the police officer who shot the victim to be fired as well as the police chief’s resignation. This time they will say his name until that officer is not only out of uniform but is in a jumpsuit. R.I.P Rayshard Brooks.

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#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. If I’m the Wendy’s worker who called the police, I feel like shit this morning because a call for a man sleeping in a car should not have ended with his killing. If I’m the people with the child in the car, I feel helpless and hurt. If I’m that child, I’m scared shitless of anyone with a uniform and a gun. If I’m the angry white or black guy who was filming and saying, “I watched y’all for twenty minutes,” I’m wondering what else I could have done? I am mad as hell and I am saddened beyond consolation. At a minimum, we need a law that prevents shooting a person while they’re fleeing. If there is no weapon, fleeing from an officer should be a foot chase and radio race. If a person gets away, they get away. As I have said before, I will continue to look to and support grassroots organizations who are doing the work, day in and day out. If there are groups who you know are organizing to end police killings, @ them so we can follow and support. ???? ?  Let us Continue to #PlotPlanStrategizeOrganizeMobilize! If you are in ATL and want to know who is doing the work already brother Kalonji Changa (@whohetalkingto) is. His org is Commumitymovementbuilders.org. A true organizer he ain’t polite! He is effective! His org does the work.  Please @ others that do as well!

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