Nelly Urges Peace In Ferguson, Missouri Governor Declares Curfew
Many rappers have spoken out about the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., after the shooting death of 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown. But the biggest rap artist to come out of St. Louis — Nelly — is urging citizens near his hometown to protest in peace and not riot and loot in their community.
“I understand the frustration, but we have to strategize before we overreact,” he told TMZ. “We don’t get no do-over on s— like this, so we have to do it right the first time.”
“Ain’t nothing happen no different that hasn’t been happening,” he continued. “At the end of the day, we should have waited to strategize first and take all the right steps to organize.”
In response to the tragedy of Michael Brown, Nelly has created a scholarship for the youth in Ferguson. So far, Kevin Hart, T.I. and Charlotte Hornets b-baller Al Jefferson have promised to donate $15,000 a year in scholarships to teens awarded by the Brown family.
Props to Nelly for stepping up and trying to make a change in the Ferguson community in light of recent events.
Meanwhile, Missouri governor Jay Nixon and Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson have declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Mo. They also issued a curfew from midnight until 5AM, beginning tonight (Aug. 16).
However, some community leaders expressed concerned of how the curfew is going to be enforced.
“In the morning this community will rise with the sun to renew its quest for justice,” Nixon said (quotes courtesy of NBC News). We won’t enforce it with trucks, we won’t enforce it with tear gas. We will communicate, ‘it’s time to go home.”
Nevertheless, community activists are angry that people’s rights are being denied and now their movements are being restricted with the nighttime curfew.
The protests surrounding Michael Brown’s shooting continued on Friday (Aug. 15) although it was marred by small outbreaks of looting at various businesses. Although there was peaceful protest 24 hours prior, tensions ran high last night following the release of the name Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown. Then Ferguson police released a video of Brown allegedly robbing a convenience store that took place before his death, which was met with immediate backlash.
Activists questioned the Ferguson police department’s motive behind releasing the video, and Brown’s family also express outrage at the police tarnishing their late son’s reputation.
Meanwhile, back at the press conference, Cpt. Johnson said that 40 FBI agents have been assigned to the Michael Brown case and are going door-to-door talking to residents who might have information about the shooting.
“Tonight we will enforce that curfew,” he said. “We won’t enforce it with trucks. We won’t enforce it with arms. We will communicate.”
“We will survive this,” he added. “We will make a change.”