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08th Jul 2016

Snoop Dogg and The Game hold joint press conference with LAPD in a show of unity

Building bridges

Nooruddean Choudry

“You can’t match hate with hate. You gotta match hate with love.”

In previous times, they have had their distinct differences with the Los Angeles Police Department, and for very good reason. But on Friday, esteemed rappers Snoop Dogg and the Game had a message of respect and reconciliation that they were keen to share.

It was not due of any admiration for the conduct of law enforcers of late – far from it – but because they were concerned about the potential escalation of violence and mistrust in their neighbourhoods.

In a week that has seen the deeply troubling murders of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota at the hands of police officers, as well as the shooting of law enforcers in Dallas, the duo were on a mission to stress communication and dialogue.

Following a peaceful march to the LAPD headquarters on recruitment graduation day for new officers, the rappers were invited in to speak to both the Mayor of Los Angeles and senior police. They then held a joint press conference that would have been unfathomable twenty years ago.

Snoop Dogg explained his motives:

“We never had communication with the police, but we’re trying to start a whole new beginning by getting that dialogue and that communication. The best thing you can do is seek information and seek communication, because you can’t match hate with hate; you gotta match hate with love. And that’s what we came for today, in a love offering to sit down and have some dialogue.”

The Game spoke of his personal distress over recent events:

“Hearing and watching what happened to Alton Sterling and the very next day seeing another video [of Philando Castile] that was just of catastrophic proportions – I was torn. Number one as an African-American – because I am African-American, not because it’s African-Americans against the world…and that hurt me. That really, really hurt me.

“My son asked me why police would do that to a man, and I had to answer in a way where he would still trust and he would still belief in the police force, and I did that.”

You can watch their comments below. Let us hope that this development can act as even a small catalyst to calm tensions and instigate a change in the attitudes and behaviour of some police officers towards minority groups.