NLE CHOPPA LEADS PEACEFUL PROTEST IN HONOR OF TYRE NICHOLS
Written by torresanz on January 30, 2023
NLE Choppa hit the streets in his hometown of Memphis to show solidarity with Tyre Nichols, just the latest Black person to have their life tragically and senselessly cut short at the hands of police.
Nichols, a 29-year-old man from Memphis who was father to a four-year-old son, was beaten to death by five police officers (all of whom were also Black) during a traffic stop earlier this month.
Footage of the harrowing attack, which was made public last week, has sparked outrage across the nation and resulted in the disgraced officers being fired and subsequently charged with murder.
Choppa (real name Bryson Lashun Potts) joined the chorus of those calling for change by organizing a peaceful protest in honor of Nichols over the weekend.
In a video posted on Twitter on Saturday (January 28), the 20-year-old rapper urged 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.
“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.”
Video clips of the protest showed Choppa leading the march with a skateboard in his hand while chanting: “No justice, no peace, we gon’ skate for Tyre.” The rapper was joined by dozens of local residents and children.
At one points he stopped and spoke to his fellow protestors, showing his gratitude for their support.
“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.”
In a follow-up video, Choppa argued that sharing such harrowing footage of someone’s death “should be just as much of a crime” and posted a clip of Nichols skateboarding — one of his passions alongside 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.”
NLE Choppa is far from the only rapper to speak up in the wake of Tyre Nichols’ death. Fellow Memphis natives Moneybagg Yo, GloRilla and La Chat have also called for justice over his murder, with the latter labeling 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.”
Outside of Tennessee, impassioned reactions have come from Pusha T, Royce Da 5’9″, Meek Mill, Boosie Badazz, Questlove and many more.