Tip “T.I.” Harris is speaking out after a now-viral video surfaced of a Georgia police officer drawing his gun on a group of unarmed Black teenagers.
“Why don’t we ever see little white kids being held at gunpoint?” the Grand Hustle mogul posed at a press conference with the teens’ parents on Tuesday (June 16), according to 11Alive. “The Constitution was written for all Americans, okay? Except it only seems like you have to be a certain shade or a certain color to reap the benefits of it.”
According to a police statement from Clayton County Police Department provided to 11Alive, the officer was dispatched after the police received a call from a local gas station clerk accusing the teens of stealing and waving a gun around.
In the video clip, several bystanders can be heard asking the officer, “They are kids. What did they do?” while the boys stood with the hands in the air. When one person questioned why his gun was drawn, the officer responded “because I'm being safe.” The teens were patted down once more officers arrived at the scene and no weapons were found.
The authorities told 11Alive that surveillance video from the gas station did show the teens playing with what appeared to look like a gun and the teens explained it was a BB gun.
The community is calling for the officer involved to be fired.
“Why are only people of color, young Black boys, young Black girls, being gunned down at the hands of policemen and using excuses like BB guns, water guns,” T.I. said. “There are little white boys that got real rifles that go hunting every day, every week with their grandparents and parents. They aren’t being held at gunpoint. So that’s what we’re here for. Let's not mince words and pretend like we don’t understand what we’re dealing with.”
See footage of the incident below:
(Photo: Screenshot from YouTube)