On the Oct. 6 edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” rapper T.I. proposes solutions for police brutality and the justice system.
In addition to his discussion on police brutality, the rapper promoted his latest album, Us or Else.
On Thursday’s episode, T.I. tells Stephen A. Smith that police officers should be held accountable for their actions just like the people they police. Without mincing words, the Atlanta-based rapper calls police brutality an “atrocity” that the nation has overlooked. He says he came to this realization while researching for his latest project. He recalls listening to speeches of Malcolm X and MLK and noticing that their words still carry weight today.
“… Policemen overstepping the boundaries of their duties [and] abusing their powers to kill and murder [is a problem] … When it comes to police officers, their accountability [isn’t] highlighted … When I have had my transgressions with police, you [will] accept responsibility. You [will] hold yourself accountable. And you will endure … whatever punishment to follow.
At one point, the rapper makes the case to amend federal drug laws after witnessing the drug epidemic up close. He cites the war on drugs, harsh drug laws and over policing as reasons for new drug laws.
“[The government] felt that it was necessary to upstream crack cocaine to a mandatory minimum status,” he explains. “… When crack cocaine reached out to the suburbs … When gun violence started affecting white homes that is when there is an epidemic.”
Furthermore, T.I. believes that the harsh laws from the 1980s and ’90s gave way to the “epidemic crisis” of police brutality.