The misinformation being spread about Breonna Taylor‘s reached a fever pitch on Thursday when a music producer defended the police killing. But JW Lucas, a white man who has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary rap, picked the wrong one when he misguidedly insisted that he would make a better Black Lives Matter leader than Tamika Mallory, the activist who has been on the front lines of the nation’s protests against racism and police violence.
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The entire unfortunate episode hit a crescendo when Mallory recorded an Instagram Live video on Thursday night and called on all rappers to stop working with JW Lucas so that he can’t ever profit off of Black people again.
In case you missed it, everything began to unfold when JW Lucas incorrectly tweeted on Thursday afternoon that Taylor suffered karmic “consequences” because she allowed “multiple drug dealers” to use “her house as a trap spot.”
But, of course, that is an unproven conspiracy theory trumpeted by people who apparently refuse to believe that police could act recklessly toward an unarmed and nonviolent Black person. In fact, not only did Taylor’s killers botch executing their no-knock warrant, but they failed to find any drugs on the premises and the suspect they were seeking was already in police custody.
But then he took his ignorance a few steps farther by saying that he was more capable of leading Black Lives Matter than Tamika Mallory, a proven and devoted activist for social justice who was among the 87 protesters charged with felonies earlier this month for demanding the arrest of Taylor’s killers.
JW Lucas, who has worked with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Pop Smoke, Dababy and other popular acts, was adamant that he was correct without offering any proof. Even during his own hours-long Instagram live session Thursday night, he refused to budge from his incorrect position. That is, until, according to him, he had a conversation with Taylor’s sister. But while he told Taylor’s family that he was sorry, it came off more like a backhanded apology “to her and her family if my comment regarding her case had any potential inaccuracies.”
All of which prompted Mallory to record her own nearly 20-minute-long Instagram Live session — entitled: “You don’t get to profit from the culture and be dismissive and ignorant to our plight!” — to address the JW Lucas controversy. She said she took the time to go into JW’s IG Live “to educate him about what he was saying,” but it apparently was all for naught.
Mallory called JW Lucas “extremely dangerous” and said called on any artists, especially Black ones, to stop associating with him.
“He should not be allowed to continue to work with anybody who claims to love Black people,” she insisted before encouraging anyone working with him currently to “fire” him.
“You will not get away with disrespecting Breonna Taylor,” she said.
Anyone familiar with JW Lucas will probably know he has a whole history of making racist-adjacent statements.
Mallory said JW Lucas sent her a direct message asking if they could speak, but she rejected his overture in part because he “yelled” at her “and said that you feel you can do a better job.”
She said that JW Lucas is “a part of the demons that are against our people” and asked people listening to boycott any artists who keeps working with him.
“That’s when it comes to us,” she said. “If we find out that he’s still working with people who are in our communities — Black people, Black artists — then we gotta say, ‘Are we gonna continue to purchase those people’s brand?’ They become an enemy of ours.”
Watch Tamika Mallory’s impassioned plea below.
Taylor was killed on March 13 when officers entered her home in search of illegal drugs. The cops claimed that they knocked on the door to announce themselves and they started shooting after they were “immediately met by gunfire” from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. However, Taylor’s family said in a lawsuit that the cops did not identify themselves and that Walker — a licensed gun owner — believed someone was trying to break in. Taylor, an emergency medical technician working on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, was only 26 years old when she was killed.
Following her death, Louisville passed a ban on “no-knock” warrants, which allowed police officers to enter a home without first announcing their presence. Brett Hankison, one of the cops involved in Taylor’s death, was fired on June 23, over three months since Taylor was killed. The other officers involved were placed on administrative leave. None of them has been arrested or charged for Taylor’s death.