Rapper T.I. addressed the crowd at a protest in Atlanta, following the tragic death of unarmed Black man Rayshard Brooks.
T.I, 39, has spoken out about the death of 27-year-old Atlanta man Rayshard Brooks. The rapper attended a rally on June 13, the day after the young Black man was killed by police following an alleged altercation at a Wendy’s drive-thru. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Rayshard was being checked for a DUI when he struggled with police, attempted to run and was fatally shot.
He then encouraged Atlanta residents to help enact real change. “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 said.
“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.” He concluded his message by saying, “Love and respect. Rest in peace to Rashad. Peace and love to everybody who deserves it.”
Earlier in the month, the rapper criticized President Donald Trump, 74, for planning a campaign event on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the end of slavery. After announcing he would hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19, which is the anniversary of one of the deadliest race riots in United States history, T.I. took to Instagram. “This feeling like bait… a plot to impact & endanger more of our people on OUR emancipation day,” he began. “Be sure to evaluate all details thoroughly before engaging. Was just on my spirit this morning.” He also added the hashtags: “#IssaDogWhistle, #GodOnlyGonFightWithOneSide, and #OURSIDE.”