Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper recently spoke out on the controversy surrounding Baltimore, Maryland following the controversial death of Freddie Gray at the hands of law enforcement.
In Chance’s perspective, the power of social media, notably Twitter, should not be overlooked.
“I think it’s really most important for everybody to be informed, to be connected to the situation. I always say like there’s an act—when to be a hand or to be a voice. You gotta know when your Twitter is stronger or your body actually marches. Sometimes it’s either/or, you know? But I don’t want to dance around saying this sh*t is wrong. I think we all know that. It’s very hard to watch it happening on a loop.” (The FADER)
This week, New York rapper Ja Rule gave his take on the Baltimore situation.
“I think it’s a very sad situation what’s going on in Baltimore. It’s not just Baltimore. I think it’s going on throughout the country. And with what’s going on in our urban communities with the police, I think it just needs to—Somebody needs to be the peacemaker. To bring it all together. To make things better on that front. And I don’t know who’s the guy to do it. I don’t know who’s gonna step up and be our leader…But as long as we keep marching peacefully, I think that’s the best way for us to get our point across.” (“Fox Business”)
Last week, charges were handed out to the six officers that arrested Gray.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby declared that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, his arrest was illegal, and his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter. Onlookers began to cheer and then express amazement over Mosby’s announcement, which few expected so quickly. “The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation coupled with the medical examiner’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide,” Mosby said, “we have probable cause to file criminal charges.” (ABC News)
According to CNN affiliate WJLA, Gray’s placement in a police van after being arrested ultimately cost him his life.
The sources quoted by the Washington-based station said the medical examiner had determined Gray’s death was caused by a catastrophic injury after he slammed into the back of the police transport van while inside it, “apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.” The station said it was unclear what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van and whether Gray caused the injury. (CNN)