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Rayshard Brooks 'Didn't Deserve to Die,' Says T.I. at Atlanta Protest

Illustration for article titled Rayshard Brooks Didnt Deserve to Die, Says T.I. at Atlanta Protest
Photo: Getty

Rayshard Brooks spent Friday with his 8-year-old daughter, CNN reports, celebrating her birthday before her party on Saturday by taking her to get her nails done and, later on, to an arcade. Brooks never made it to his daughter’s party, though, because an Atlanta police officer shot and killed him late Friday night in the parking lot of a Wendy’s while Brooks was trying to run away. He was 27.

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Brooks’ death at the hands of Garrett Rolfe, whom the Atlanta PD has since fired, is yet another devastating example of the violence Black people face not just in the United States but from the United States, with cops acting as judge, jury, and executioner as they see fit. But this isn’t just a matter of rooting out the bad actors—the individual cops, judges, or corrections officers responsible for the deaths of Layleen Polanco, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd—it’s about uprooting the entire criminal justice system and building something new in its place. If you haven’t read abolitionist organizer Mariame Kaba’s New York Times op-ed about the necessity of abolishing the police, rather than seeking reforms, please do so today.

Upset at the news coming out of his hometown, T.I. spoke out against Brooks’ killing at a Black Lives Matter protest in Atlanta on Saturday. He took particular issue with those who might try to justify Brooks’ extrajudicial execution on account of the fact that he may have been intoxicated at the time Rolfe killed him or that Brooks had reportedly grabbed an officer’s taser before he was shot.

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“I don’t give a damn what your opinion is of the person,” Tip said, per Hollywood Life. “I don’t give a damn what he did… The man didn’t deserve to die like that. And any policeman out here who stands behind that shit, you’re in trouble too, man.”

“We are going to have to organize,” he continued. “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 Rayshard and all the rest of the people who died at the hands of the police.”


Singing sister duo Chloe x Halle have also spoken out against the Atlanta Police Department’s murder of Rayshard Brooks.

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“Getting shot and killed by the police in the state we grew up in for no reason,” tweeted the sisters early Sunday morning. “Why is this continuing to happen? We will fight for you!”

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Spike Lee is walking back his defense of alleged child molester Woody Allen, whom the Do the Right Thing director had previously said was a victim of cancel culture (even though Allen makes approximately one movie every 17 weeks and literally has a movie coming out later this year!!).

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“I deeply apologize,” Lee tweeted Saturday afternoon, per Deadline. “My words were wrong. I do not and will not tolerate sexual harassment, assault, or violence. Such treatment causes real damage that can’t be minimized.”

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  • Jennifer Aniston wants justice for Breonna Taylor. “The officers who broke into her house while she was sleeping and shot her eight times still have not been arrested,” the actress wrote in an Instagram post. “Make noise, make phone calls, and demand justice.” [Hollywood Life]
  • British comedians David Williams and Matt Lucas have both apologized for doing blackface sketches on Little Britain. “We regret that we played characters of other races,” they tweeted in tandem. “It was wrong, and we are very sorry.” [Deadline]
  • Sia’s having an extremely cringe white lady spiral after confusing Nicki Minaj with Cardi B. [Hollywood Life]
  • No one:
  • Still no one:
  • Literally no one:
  • Could not be fewer people:
  • Jason Derulo: I can eat more hot dogs than the Rock. [TMZ]

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

If you haven’t read abolitionist organizer Mariame Kaba’s New York Times op-ed about the necessity of abolishing the police, rather than seeking reforms, please do so today.”

Kaba’s choice of words in the op ed is baffling. She starts the whole thing by saying she “literally” means “abolish”, but then belies that by calling merely for the reduction of police numbers and funding. That’s NOT what the word “abolish” literally means. The slavery abolitionists certainly didn’t merely want *less* slaves—they wanted there to be no slaves at all of any kind, ever again.

For the life of me, I do not understand why it’s necessary to name the call for reducing police numbers and funding “abolishing” the police. This shit is going to be hard enough as it is without the clusterfuck of having to explain that “abolish”, in this context, doesn't mean what it usually means, or what the overwhelming majority of people would interpret it to mean.