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.”
NLE Choppa opposed the film of Tyre Nichols’ fatal beating being made public and disseminated on social media before the demonstration.
“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.”
In a subsequent video, Choppa made the claim that disseminating such graphic evidence of a fatality “should be just as much of a crime” and shared a video of Nichols skating, one of his interests in addition to photography and sunsets.
“I was looking at this situation…and was like, ‘What would love do?’” he said. “When I asked that question, I came across this video. Why couldn’t this video be shown by the media? Why something so gruesome and hard-to-digest for the conscious be presented?
“Releasing footage of how someone was murdered in cold blood should be just as much of a crime. Rest in peace Tyre, I know this video is what you would have wanted the world to see.”
Rapper NLE Choppa is not the only one to express their opinions in the wake of Tyre Nichols’ passing. Moneybagg Yo, GloRilla, and La Chat, who are all Memphis locals, have also demanded justice for his slaying, with the latter calling the Memphis Police Department a “gang.”
“Im still tryna figure out wat was #12Gang thankn how did they think they was go get away with what they did to #TyreNichols wrong wrong wrong,” the Three 6 Mafia affiliate tweeted. “they 4sho A Gang #MPD yall ass #Hittt #justice4tyre.”
Pusha T, Royce Da 5’9″, Meek Mill, Boosie Badazz, Questlove, and a host of others have all expressed strong opinions on the situation outside of Tennessee.