Rapper LL Cool J is speaking out following the fatal shooting of another Black man by police in the United States.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the “Deep Blue Sea” actor took to his Instagram Live to discuss his thoughts on the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. and the use of deadly force by law enforcement. As previously reported, on Monday, Oct. 26, Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man who lived with mental health challenges, was shot and killed in West Philadelphia around 4 p.m.
Footage of the tragic incident circulating the internet showed Wallace pacing around a street as two Philadelphia Police Department officers pointed their service weapons at him. His mother, Cathy Wallace, followed her son as he walked around. The young man was reportedly armed with a knife as officers repeatedly told him to “drop the knife.” The policemen then demanded that Wallace’s mother move out of the way.
When she finally moved, the camera panned down before at least nine shots were fired. When the camera regained its position, Wallace was seen lying on the pavement. His mother screamed and ran over to her dying son. He was later taken to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Shortly afterward, Wallace’s father revealed that his son had been living with mental health issues.
In a 23-minute-long video, a visibly emotional LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, spoke on the unfortunate event as he highlighted his concerns surrounding police officers and how they handle certain situations. The actor also reflected on his own experience where deadly force could’ve been used, but he chose to use an alternative method.
“I’m gon’ tell you the thing that gets a little irritating for me, I’m gon’ keep it a hundred,” he said, starting around the 1:47 mark. You know, this idea that there’s no alternative to deadly force. I don’t understand that thought,” LL began his lengthy video. “Let me explain something to you guys, and I’m gon’ keep it all the way a hundred. Many of you heard the story about when the dude broke into my house. When that guy broke into my house, we had a fight at first, yes, but once I subdued him, and I won the fight or whatever you want to call that, I could’ve killed him. I didn’t.”
There’s a brief moment of pause as he looks into the camera, but then he picks up again, saying, “So this idea that, you know, you have to use deadly force in every situation, to be frank, it’s bullsh-t.” He continued, “You do not have to use deadly force in every situation. You can maim somebody, if you don’t have tasers. You could wing him. He could have caught 10 shots in the leg without the biggest arteries. There’s a lot of ways to do that. And then put a tourniquet on them. There’s a lot of different ways to try to avoid just taking somebody’s life.”
Shortly afterward, LL notes that if law enforcement officers are “that scared to be in the hood” or around Black people, then maybe the job isn’t for them. The actor clarified that his Live session wasn’t meant to demonize white people, but instead about “certain cops that act a certain way.”
He continued his talk about Wallace’s killing, saying, around the 9:18 mark, “They had enough distance to shoot. They could’ve used the same amount of shots on the leg without the major arteries in it and got damn near the same effect. You know it, and I know it. I’m not saying that they didn’t have, they had no right to shoot that man, but they didn’t have to murder, they didn’t have to kill that boy.” He continued by naming family members of his who’d served in law enforcement. “There are other ways to do this man. I’m not saying that the cops shouldn’t be able to go home to their families, but damn b, stop being so panicky. You got 50, 60 feet.”
The “Last Holiday” star concluded his video by saying at the 20:41 mark that while he loved the good things about this country, “I don’t like some of the attitudes that exist within what’s going on.” He added, “I love what we doing, but yo, there’s got to be some justice. There’s gon’ have to be some justice. Not just this consistent manipulation, this mental manipulation. Like I told you before, when the bear and wolf argue over a rabbit; the fox gets away with it.”
Check out the full video from LL’s Instagram Live below.