Kurtis Blow thanked police officers who he said “saved my life” after he had a heart attack last weekend.
According to a press release issued by the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters, the rapper – whose real name is Kurtis Walker – suffered cardiac arrest Oct. 29 near Topanga Mall in California.
The health emergency occurred as Walker and his adult son argued. LAPD Officers Peter Parra, Felix Rodriguez, Chris Vege and Calvin Hill arrived to respond to a call about a robbery, later deemed false. When they approached the quarreling duo, Vege said Walker collapsed around 9 p.m. Then, he and his partner Hill sprung into action.
The policemen performed CPR on Walker for what witnesses said amounted to five minutes until paramedics arrived.
“I died and these officers saved my life,” Walker said as he recovered in a local hospital. “The police saved my life, a Black man. In this day and age, people need to hear that.”
Walker’s comments refer to the massive onslaught of police brutality committed against Black Americans in the last several months. They include the deaths of Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, to name a few.
“We didn’t think too much about what we had done,” Vege said of the life-saving measure. “But we were curious to see how the man was doing. So we drove to the hospital later that night, and several people made a big deal about us saving the man’s life. We’re happy for him and his family that he pulled through.”
Walker deemed the responding officers “angels” who “are here to help us.”
“If they got there any later, I would have died,” he continued. “I want to thank the officers from the bottom of my heart, no pun intended.”
Still, Walker’s happy ending doesn’t mean police brutality has ended. On Oct. 31, police shot and killed Michelle Shirley in San Diego after she reportedly attempted to run them down during a car chase. However, her father told ABC 10 News she suffered from bipolar disorder. Because of the illness, Ronnie Shirley said his daughter was “not in her right mind” that day.
But Vege told ABC 7 his crew simply did their job, regardless of receiving a Life Saving Award commendation from LAPD Sgt. Stephan Bell.
“Officers do not hesitate,” Vege said. “They do not judge on what color you are, what religion you are, male, female. We’re going to jump in no matter what to help someone in need.”