T.I. took to the streets of Atlanta over the weekend to share a message of unity amid protests over the death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of white police officers.
“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 shit your ass in trouble too,” the 39-year-old Atlanta rapper told protesters in a video shared by Radio.com.
Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a white Atlanta police officer at a Wendy’s drive-through on Friday night.
“We are going to have to organize. 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 rapper continued.
T.I. also spent Saturday speaking at a rally for Kendrick Johnson at the Georgia State Capitol. The recent nationwide protests surrounding the death of George Floyd have called for the re-opening into the case of Johnson, who was found dead at a Georgia high school in 2013.
“I know we do a lot of talking about what separates us, I know we do a lot of talking about how far we have to go, but let’s talk about what we’ve done,” T.I. told protesters. “Let’s talk about what we’ve done in such a short period of time. We have forced them to acknowledge the pain that has existed for years and years. We have forced them to take into account and consider what we’re going through ever since they brought us to this country. We have forced them to now be considerate of our lives, our liberties, and we can’t let up off the gas.”
Watch the full clip below.
In late May, T.I. joined Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike at a press conference in Atlanta in an attempt to quell some of the violence taking place during nationwide protests over Floyd’s police-related death.