Protestors Chant Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright' & Surround Police Car in Cleveland
On July 29, Cleveland State University protestors surrounded a police car and repeatedly chanted the chorus to "Alright," Kendrick Lamar's song from To Pimp a Butterfly.
Attendees of a convention put on by the Movement for Black Lives exited the university building (on East 24th St. and Euclid Ave.) to find police officers arresting Jonathan Walsh, a 14-year-old African-American boy.
According to police, Walsh was on a bus "intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself." They say he was then "peacefully removed" and taken to a nearby "bus shelter." They were then met by a large crowd, many of whom were attendees of the university conference.
Protestors tell ABC Newsnet 5 Cleveland they saw police slam Myers to the crowd in a show of "police brutality." As they approached the scene and began to protest, Walsh was moved into the back of a police cruiser. Police maintain this was done "for the safety of the juvenile."
The crowd soon surrounded the police car, blocking it from any exit point, and they were then met with pepper spray from police. The crowd refused to move until, eventually, Walsh's mother arrived (called by police) and drove her son away while protestors repeatedly chanted, "We gon' be alright."
Watch footage of the chant below.
That line (sang by Pharrell Williams) is taken from Kendrick Lamar's hit off To Pimp a Butterfly, a song whose message deals heavily with solidarity in the face of oppression and, specifically, of police brutality.
The message in the song has come under fire by FOX News' Giraldo Rivera, to whom Lamar responded gracefully.
It's unclear if Lamar was invoked by the crowd as a victory chant after Walsh was given to his mother or sometime earlier in the incident.