T.I. stepped in to help police negotiators talk a young man out of jumping to his death from an Atlanta skyscraper yesterday afternoon. In his own words, T.I. tells BET.com how it all went down. [Watch Video Here]
“I was in my car, headed to my video shoot and I cut the radio on, which is unusual 'cause I mostly listen to my iPod or a CD when I’m driving. Breaking news comes on about a 22-year old Black man on top of a building on Peachtree. They say he said he’s tired of living and wants to end it.
"Something in my heart tells me to go down there. I’m thinking, 'what can I do to help?' The building is where V103 is at so I start calling people from the radio station who work there, Ryan Cameron, asking them to tell dude I want to talk to him. Everyone is like, 'I don’t know if you can help.'
"I go down there, park my car, walk up to the police officers and tell them I would like to help resolve this. They’re all like, 'we don’t know what you can do,' but they went to the negotiator and told her. She asked what I was willing to do and I asked what I could do, what would be beneficial? At this point, they let the young man know I’m downstairs and want to speak to him.
"Officer Polite suggests doing a video message to assure the young man I’m there. I say on the video that it’s not that bad, how it’s gonna be better, that I’m willing to help him get better, but you got to help me help you.
"When he came down, I was at the elevator to greet him. I spoke first. He was kind of, not distraught, but just looked tired. I asked what’s wrong and he shook his head. I said, 'it’s never as bad as it seems and if you know me, know what I’ve been through, you know I know it.' We spoke for about four to five minutes, but I did most of the talking. He mostly shook his head, said a lot with his facial expressions, demeanor and sighed a lot of deep breaths. I said, 'you did the right thing, you took the right step.' Then they escorted him away. We didn’t exchange info, but I’m gonna try to find him, see what’s up.
"I’m aware some people are saying this was a publicity stunt. That’s preposterous. People refuse to acknowledge that God has a purpose for all people. Fate and destiny, all these things, they put us where we’re supposed to be. This was not a coincidence. I didn’t wake up in the morning knowing this was going to happen. This wasn’t on my list of things to do today.
"If anything, I’ve known it before, felt it before, but in your darkest hours you lose sight of the fact that you can help people. This isn’t out of the norm for me to go out of my way to help people, regardless of my circumstances. That isn’t out of character for me, but I still have a hard time taking any credit for this. It was God’s work, God’s plan, I just happened to show up at the right time.”