City News Service | 7/8/2016, 1:40 p.m.
Rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful demonstration today outside a Los Angeles Police Department recruit graduation in what they called an effort to promote unity in the aftermath of the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas. Several dozen people joined the rappers outside police headquarters in downtown Los Angeles where the graduation ceremony was held, featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as speakers.
After the ceremony, the rappers 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, “The Game said during an impromptu news conference inside police headquarters following the meeting.
"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,” he said, adding that he believes Los Angeles can be a "flagship" for cities everywhere, and a showing of peace and unity here will resonate around the world.
"I know that together we can unify Los Angeles,” he said. The Game and Snoop Dogg both said they were unaware there was an LAPD recruit graduation scheduled this morning, and they only planned to gather at police headquarters in a show of unity. But the ceremony made the gathering more pointed, as a sign of building relationships with officers as they prepare to go on duty for the first time.
"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," Snoop Dogg 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 Dogg said the idea behind the gathering outside police headquarters was “not to bash the police but to come up here and get some dialogue and some communication.”
We all represent the same cause and we all want to go home to our families," he said. "Today was a first step of many steps. We are here to show love and support to the police force in Los Angeles and get some understanding and communication, and we feel like this is a great start."
Garcetti, flanked by The Game and Snoop Dogg, called the gathering a powerful event.
"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."