Take us back to before the incident, and what was your life like?
I was working and living day by day and providing support for my family. I was engaged in the community, as far as sports and jobs. Just regular life as a citizen.
What was your opinion about law enforcement before the incident, and were you aware of Police brutality?
Yes, all the time. Before I was involved in the incident, I use to do social music with my rap. I use to criticize the system and how the police were attacking our communities. I was aware in my country. Coming here into the "land of freedom and democracy," I didn't think my music or my thoughts can be a reality over here. So that changed in 2015 when I witnessed that. Prior to that, Michael Brown and other cases were going on in our nation. It did impact me witnessing firsthand Police brutality here.
What motivated you to share the video, and did you consider the impact it would make?
I would say the love for justice was my motivation. The love for a human being that you don't know, but at the same time put yourself in their shoes. An its really hard to just accept it, ya know. Also, to just walk away from that situation. So that's why I decided to just step up and confront it, and share the video with the family. I didn't know it was gonna be an impact on my life or nationally. To be honest, I think we were part of a movement that after 2015 many people just opened their eyes and said, you know what, let's record the cops. Let's speak up because that was like a referendum for all the cases that people were doubting and questioning. Never saw like a graphic, and lies. That was the impact I never expected.
After the video was released, did you receive backlash or support?
Yes, many, many threats. Many retaliation, ya know. By several people, but the support was bigger. The support and love from the community was bigger. Sometimes I have fear, fear for my life. It was something new you don't know. So I left for my country for several months, and I lose that fear and decide to come back and try to demand change.
Do you think the trial system is equal for Law Enforcement and civilians?
No, no, it's not. I think here in America, it's so hard to convict Law Enforcement. Even when they are committing justice we doubt the justice will be served. No matter how horrific a case or a video can be, we still doubt it. An example of that was George Floyd. People were just curious what was the outcome of that case. It's just something that has affected us psychologically. There's no question that video or the actions of that officer couldn't be charged or convicted of all charges. So I think that has affected us, and yea, it is not equal. Our prisons are full of people of color, and you don't see many cops.
How do you feel about Law Enforcement from your experience?
I support any officer or Department who follows the training. Who follows their values to serve and protect our communities. I respect them and admire them. Now, my personal experience in 2015 and since then has shown me there are many officers who don't understand that. And we (as citizens) need to step up and call them out. Protect each other from those officers who are harming our communities and start demanding change to improve those departments. If we stay silent, nothing will change
Do you think we should have empathy for Walter Scott's shooter?
I was thinking of Julia Scott, the mother of Walter Scott. She teaches me a lesson. She teaches me and the nation that we can have empathy and forgiveness for a person who murdered her son, but she was still demanding justice. Ya know, she forgives, but she doesn't mean she doesn't want the killer of her son to be punished. I think that's something that teaches me a lesson. You can have empathy for Michael Slayer; he was one of many officers that felt very confident of their actions and the justice system that has always been in their favor. Because of that, it becomes harder to prosecute a cop. They feel confident. They didn't know how those actions can damage and change lives, how their family can suffer because that's the reality right now. He's suffering for his actions, and I know he regrets what he did. I can have empathy for them, but not for their actions.
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