Killer Mike has long been an advocate for protesting police brutality, however the speech he gave last night in reaction to protests in Atlanta over the killing of George Floyd may be his best.
After hours of peaceful protesting in downtown Atlanta Friday night (May 29), some demonstrators reportedly turned violent, smashing windows, setting a police car on fire, vandalizing the CNN logo at CNN headquarters, and breaking into The College Football Hall of Fame and stories.
At a news conference in Atlanta on Friday night, the Georgia rapper joined mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and fought back the tears while addressing protesters.
"I am the son of an Atlanta police officer… I watched a white police officer assassinate a black man. And I know that tore your heart out,” he said.
Mike also pleaded with protesters to not destroy the city and redirect their anger into making political change. "I woke up wanting to see the world burn down yesterday because I am tired of seeing black men die,” he said. “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.”
Mike continued: “We don't want to see Targets burning. We want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burned to the ground. 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 in times of organisation.”
"We have to be better than this moment,” he added. “We have to be better than burning down our own homes, because if we lose Atlanta, what else we got?"
Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer who pinned Floyd down with his knee for nine minutes, causing his death, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. His bond has been set at $500,000 and his wife has reportedly filed for divorce.
The other three officers seen in the video of the fatal encounter Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were all fired but have yet to be charged.
From Los Angeles and Atlanta to New York and Detroit, demonstrators have taken to the streets of over 30 American cities to express their frustration over the lack of police accountability and calling for reforms.
BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death by police and the subsequent aftermath. For our continuing coverage of the protests nationwide, click here.