Snoop Dogg and The Game, both Long Beach Poly High alumni and Long Beach-raised rappers, led a peaceful demonstration today at police headquarters in downtown Los Angeles to promote unity in the aftermath of the Dallas shootings.
The two appeared at the headquarters with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck, who were on hand to assist with the a recruit graduation taking place this morning.
After the ceremony, Snoop and The Game met with Garcetti and Beck privately.
“If you are a human being and you have ears and eyes to see, this is a day of change,'' said The Game during a spontaneous news conference held at police headquarters. “I think that we need to take responsibility as a human race and accept the role as peace-givers and people that distribute love and change throughout this city.”
The Game said he believed the LA region could act as a “flagship” for other communities, showing how to spread peace and unity.
Both rappers said they were unaware of the graduation ceremony, but thought their appearance was all the more appropriate and timely for that reason.
“This is even better because now these students that are about to hit the streets can know that there is some sort of dialogue going on and they don't have to be fearful,'' he said. “And they can do their jobs and know that when you stop somebody you're a conversation away from sending them home or taking them to jail, but the conversation is key.''
Snoop said the purpose of the demonstration was “not to bash the police but to come up here and get some dialogue and some communication.''
“Chief, mayor, (police) commission president, superstars; whoever it is around us,'' Garcetti said. “We lose those titles for a moment, (and) try to remind ourselves of the pain that we feel, (and) the events that we've seen this week.
“We just had an extraordinarily powerful meeting, one in which walls came down, boundaries and barriers didn't exist,'' Garcetti said. “And for a moment, we grieved commonly for the lives that had been lost... If we can, on the streets, say that peace and love is the only way forward — the lives we can save.''
“We are too violent a society. Violence begets violence. It is time to put down our arms and start the dialogue. We have to go forward from today as human beings, as Americans, as partners,” said Beck. “Put aside the things that divide us and come together on the things that bind us -- our desire to leave Los Angeles a better place than we found it, our mutual desire to have our kids grow up in a place where they cannot expect violence at every turn.”
Snoop Dogg commended the LA County Sheriff’s Department for training its deputies for work on the streets, citing their training in the county jail. LAPD officers are instead sent into neighborhoods with gang populations right away, often straight out of the academy.
“They're scared, they're nervous, and when they encounter someone, they automatically feel they must use violence as opposed to communication,'' he said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Above, left: Photo courtesy of Snoop Dogg's Twitter account.