On Friday morning, rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game used their influence to create a dialogue between LA residents and the LAPD.
It all started when The Game posted early this morning on his Instagram account, inviting "all African American men, Mexican American men, and any other race of real men" to join him and Snoop in a peaceful march to the LAPD headquarters.
(No love for the ladies, apparently.)
The rapper was explicit this should remain a peaceful march: No weapons, drugs or violent attitudes allowed.
That post was all it took, and people showed up to walk to the LAPD.
Many of the marchers were wearing "H.U.N.T." shirts, an acronym that stands for "Hate Us Not Today" and "Hunt Us Not Today," according to The Game's Instagram.
Though the rappers and organizers were unaware of it, there was an LAPD recruit graduation ceremony scheduled for that morning.
So it was a happy coincidence the marchers — who intended to reintroduce themselves to the LAPD force — were perhaps able to influence some new police officers just starting their careers.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Snoop Dogg said,
The mission is to reintroduce our community to the LAPD... just to get some understanding and dialogue. We're the ones they're going to be dealing with, we're the ones that are going to be pulled over. … We're here on peace. We don't have to fear each other today.
In an Instagram video post, Snoop explained his intention to create an understanding with the soon-to-be police officers of his hometown.
In the end, police commanders met with Snoop Dogg, The Game and the other marchers inside the LAPD headquarters. They held a press conference to discuss police relationships with communities of color.
Police Chief Charlie Beck called for an end to violence without blaming the police. He said,
We all have to live in each others' skin and recognize that we all have other challenges. It's not about placing blame.
All parties maintained levels of respect for one and other.
This important dialogue would never have happened without The Game's Instagram post. That's the power of social media, folks!