Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is speaking out about the tragic death of 28-year-old Migos rapper, Takeoff.
On Nov. 2, the 48-year-old Mayor took to Instagram with a lengthy video post condemning the Hip-Hop star’s fatal shooting.
“The Migos are amazing contributors to culture, amazing contributors to Atlanta,” he said. “Takeoff is that member in the middle between two iconic brothers – boisterous and big personalities in Quavo and Offset – and you got Takeoff who’s humble, quiet, and introspective. I know a lot of community members are hurting from this loss of life, a wonderful life.”
Further along in the video, Dickens slammed bystanders who shared harrowing footage of Takeoff’s lifeless body online following the incident.
“Individuals who wanna film any and everything, internet videos of Takeoff’s body, people screaming in the background – I’m thinking, ‘Why are you doing this for likes and followers?’ This is the same as school fights, arguments, car street racing, donuts and stuff,” he continued. “Filming anything to get some likes and attention.”
Dickens wasn’t the only prominent figure to sound off about the issue.
On Instagram, Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth also criticized witnesses for posting gory images of the rapper’s body online.
“Rest easy bro,” the rapper wrote, captioning a throwback photo of himself standing alongside Migos. “Hate to even have to post this… It’s a few people in life that don’t deserve to go like this. What’s even weaker is everyone posting the videos and pics of him laying on the ground for likes and not thinking of how that pic or video will stick as some last memories… fly high.”
Video footage could be used to help uncover more details about Takeoff’s shooting
The footage of Takeoff’s untimely passing presents a complicated challenge. On one hand, video evidence of the rapper’s shooting could help authorities uncover more details about the events that transpired before the fatal gunfire erupted. On the other, recording while someone lies on the ground dying can be careless, insensitive and also dangerous.
So far, no witnesses have come forward with more evidence about the incident. Investigators believe people may be fearful to give a statement due to Hip-Hop’s heavily engrained anti-snitch culture. In a statement, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that investigators did not believe Takeoff was “involved in anything criminal” at the time of the incident.
“I got many calls from Houston and outside of Houston, and everyone spoke of what a great young man this is, how peaceful he is, what a great artist (he is),” the chief explained, according to CNN. “Based on what people say about him, he’s well respected, nonviolent. I would not expect him to be involved, but I do want to wait on the investigation.”
Finner pleaded for witnesses to come forward with any information to help solve the rap star’s murder. “I ask you one thing and I want this to resonate with everybody: What if it was your brother? What if it was your son? You’d want somebody to step up, so please step up. Get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family who’s hurting right now,” he added.
Surveillance footage was used to catch the three suspects involved in PnB Rock’s murder back in September. Video evidence also helped Florida authorities solve the 2018 death of Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, known professionally as XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed during a robbery. The same could ring true for Takeoff if authorities are able to obtain additional footage. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
The video should not be used to exploit the rapper’s death or legacy
It’s important for people who possess the imagery of Takeoff to think about the social implications that come from sharing horrific photos and videos. Takeoff’s family and close loved ones are still mourning the news of his sudden death. We can only imagine how gut-wrenching it must feel to see images of his body floating about the internet with no empathy or compassion. It’s incredibly insensitive and disrespectful.
The damaging imagery shouldn’t be used to exploit the rapper’s death or to tarnish the important life and legacy he built while he was on this planet. Takeoff impacted millions of fans with his artistry and that is how he should be remembered–as a source of light and a pillar of change in the Hip-Hop community.
On Wednesday, Mayor Dickens echoed a similar sentiment during his lengthy video. Staring straight into the camera, the passionate politician told Atlantans to “Stop the violence.”
“I do not think Hip-Hop equals violence. What I do think is that Hip-Hop has a voice that can change the world. I want us to do something wonderful here and in [Takeoff’s] honor spread love to everybody. We’ve lost too many.” he added.
Mayor Andre Dickens gives a brief update about Takeoff’s murder investigation
Dickens also offered a brief update about Takeoff’s murder investigation. He said he had spoken to Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner about working together to apprehend the suspects involved in the shooting.
“Even though the incident happened in Houston, this all matters to us… Atlanta will be here to support all around Takeoff and his family, for the funeral, and for the future and beyond,” the Mayor added.
After news of Takeoff’s death surfaced on Tuesday, Mayor Turner also condemned the shooting.
“Young men of color are killing themselves,” he wrote. “They are pulling their guns and shooting and just like that someone(s) is dead. Who do we blame? Activists, rappers, family members, and faith leaders must confront this reality. This cannot be our future when our young are dying young.”