NLE Choppa took to the streets of Memphis, his hometown, to express support for Tyre Nichols, the most recent Black person to have their life brutally and senselessly taken by police.
Nichols, a 29-year-old Memphis resident and father of a 4-year-old kid, was killed earlier this month during a traffic stop by five police officers, all of whom were Black.
The horrifying attack’s video, which was made public last week, incited anger around the country and led to the dismissed policemen being charged with murder.
By planning a nonviolent demonstration over the weekend in memory of Nichols, Choppa (real name Bryson Lashun Potts) joined the clamor of people urging for change.
The 20-year-old rapper invited people to meet him at 4687 Cottonwood Rd that afternoon and bring their skateboards, roller skates, and Heelys to join him for a peaceful skate through the city’s streets in a video he shared on Twitter on Saturday (January 28).
“Today, I felt it on my heart to turn a negative situation to a positive. I actually went to sleep dwelling on how I could wake up today and do that,” he said in part. “I just want to skate for Tyre in respect to him and know that’s how he would have wanted everybody to act.”
In footage from the demonstration, Choppa can be seen leading the march while yelling, “No justice, no peace, we gon’ skate for Tyre.” A large number of locals and kids joined the rapper.
He once paused to thank his fellow protesters for their support by speaking to them.
“I know it’s hard for us to all come together and it’s kinda sad it takes something tragic for us to do this,” he told the group. “But I’m grateful for it for everybody to be together, so I just want to thank y’all for being a part of this.”
He continued: “Everybody right here is standing for something and they falling for nothing, so I appreciate y’all for coming.”
Prior to the protest, NLE Choppa spoke out against footage of Tyre Nichols’ deadly beating being released to the public and shared on social media.
“I’ll never respect how footage is released of something so gruesome to keep people vibrating in the state of fear, anger, and hate!” he tweeted. “It should be way more respect for his innocent soul and even his FAMILY. What happened to rest in ‘PEACE’ SMFH !! #RIPTyreNichols.”