LOS ANGELES (AP) — Snoop Dogg and the Game led a peaceful march Friday to Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, where they urged improved relations between police and minority communities.
The rappers organized the demonstration hours after five police officers were shot to death in Dallas. In a posting on his Instagram account announcing the march, the Game said women and children should stay home and men of color should march to make law enforcement “aware that from today forward, we will be UNIFIED as minorities & we will no longer allow them to hunt us or be hunted by us !!!”
“Let’s erase the fear of one another on both sides & start something new here in the city of Los Angeles,” the posting said.
Snoop and the Game arrived at headquarters with about 100 marchers as a new class of 37 police recruits were graduating. Snoop shook hands with police officials and told reporters he hoped his presence would help reintroduce the black community to the department and open a dialogue.
“We wish them luck,” he said of the new graduates, “and we wish that they have a better understanding with the people so that they can do their job, peacefully, and make it home safely, just like we want to make it home safely.”
At the graduation ceremony, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck exhorted the new officers to not let what happened in Dallas interfere with their mandate to uphold the law fairly for all.
“This is not about black lives. This is not about brown lives. This is not about blue lives. This is about America,” said an emotional Beck, speaking slowly and deliberately, his badge covered with a strip of black mourning tape. “This is about a country based on a promise that does not recognize a difference in the shades of humanity. You are the symbol of that promise.”
He told the graduates that after they report for their first day of work on Sunday they will encounter people experiencing the worst days of their lives.
“Given their circumstances you might act in a similar fashion,” he said. “Have empathy. Look into people’s hearts. … Help them.”
Beck asked God to bless the city of Dallas. He also said more than 200 Los Angeles police officers have died in the line of duty, including 60 since he joined the force 40 years ago.