AceShowbiz - Rapper and activist Killer Mike has pleaded with his fellow Atlanta, Georgia natives to stop destroying their city as part of anti-police brutality protests.
The Run the Jewels star joined fellow rap star T.I. at the Atlanta Mayor's press conference on Friday night, May 29, 2020 and delivered an emotional speech, encouraging protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
The son of a police officer, Mike, real name Michael Render, told the media he has "a lot of love and respect" for cops, but struggled with footage of a white Minneapolis officer kneeling on an unarmed African-American man's neck during an arrest over counterfeit money on Monday, May 25, 2020.
In the clip, the man, George Floyd, told the cops he was struggling to breathe. He lost consciousness at the scene and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The footage sparked a wave of violent protests across America and the arrest of Derek Chauvin, the police officer whose actions led to Floyd's death. He has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He and the other three officers involved in the arrest have all been dismissed from the force.
"I watched a white officer assassinate a black man, and I know that tore your heart out," Killer Mike said. "I'm mad as hell. I woke up wanting to see the world burn yesterday, because I'm tired of seeing black men die. He casually put his knee on a human being's neck for nine minutes as he died like a zebra in the clutch of a lion's jaw."
"So that's why children are burning it to the ground," he added. "They don't know what else to do. And it is the responsibility of us to make this better right now... We don't want to see targets burning, we want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burnt to the ground."
But the outspoken rapper asked protesters in his native Atlanta to stop destructing their own city, "I am duty-bound to be here to simply say: That it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organisation. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategise, organise, and mobilise."
"It is time to beat up prosecutors you don't like at the voting booth. It is time to hold mayoral offices accountable, chiefs and deputy chiefs. Atlanta is not perfect, but we're a lot better than we ever were, and we're a lot better than cities are."
Killer Mike's comments came shortly after a stand-off between police and activists outside Atlanta's CNN Center. During a live new broadcast about the protests across America an on-air reporter was visibly shaken when a firecracker was hurled into the building.
"I love CNN... but I gotta say to CNN right now: 'Karma's a mother. Stop feeding fear and anger every day. Stop making people feel so fearful and give them hope'," the rap star added. "I'm glad they (protesters) only took down a sign and defaced a building, and they're not killing human beings like that policeman did. I'm glad that they only destroyed some brick and mortar and they didn't rip a father from a son, they didn't rip a son from a mother, like the policeman did."
Eminem caught Killer Mike's press conference plea and was clearly a fan, tweeting on Saturday evening, "I'm with @killermike on this one. Incredibly well done."
The U.S. has been caught up in nationwide violence for days. There have been clashes between police, activists and looters in more than 40 cities and on Saturday night, May 30, 2020, Nashville, Tennessee Mayor John Cooper declared a state of civil emergency and a curfew following attacks on City Hall. Curfews were also ordered in Miami, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Chicago, among other major cities as demonstrations led to violence and looting.