NLE Choppa was among the hundreds of people who turned out to protest the police killing of 29-year-old Memphis native Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by five police officers during a police stop.
Born Bryson Lashun Potts, the Memphis rapper, is a Memphis native who said he was motivated to organize a protest to “Skate for Tyre” in Parkway Village Saturday afternoon. According to the rapper, he was led by the spirit to act after he saw the video of the brutal beating, which saw cops boasting about how hard they hit Tyre.
“I was meditating, I was laying down, and I was wondering what would God want me to do, and what would love want me to do, and when I got that thought… it came to me. Plus, spread a message of what something [Tyre] would probably want, a video that he would’ve wanted everyone to see,” he said.
NLE Choppa was seen walking briskly among a large crowd as he chanted for justice for Nichols’ family.
“Today I felt it in my heart to turn a negative situation into a positive. I actually went to sleep dwelling on how I could wake up today and do that,” NLE Choppa told reporters before the protest.
“I just wanna skate for Tyre, in respect to him, and know that’s what he would’ve wanted everyone to act.”
Protesters shouted “Skate for Tyre” as the rapper led a charge.
NLE Choppa has been very vocal about not participating in violence, especially in music. The rapper said he wanted police brutality to end because of the loss of life and the potential it has inflicted on the black community.
“He wasn’t just a Black man, he wasn’t a Black man that lost his life to another police brutality situation. Let’s kind of get out of the statistic,” he began. “He was a human being. He had things that he wanted to do. He had things he loved to do… so let’s remember him in that light instead of as someone that lost their life tragically.”
The march was organized between Cottonwood Road to Chippewa Road. That protest by NLE Choppa is one of a few that has spread nationwide in places like Los Angeles and Downtown Atlanta where city officials declared a state of emergency, and across Memphis, as many protested against police brutality.
Five officers who beat Tyre have been fired and charged with attempted murder, among other charges, while two first responders who were seen dapping each other at the scene instead of rendering help to the injured man have been relieved of their duties pending investigations.
Nichols died three days after the brutal beating by the cops.