We know the late Tupac Shakur for his pro-Black, anti-cop lyrics – but he also had the bite to match his bark. On Halloween night in 1993, Shakur reportedly was a bystander to two armed white men harassing a Black driver. Instead of driving away, he got out of his car – and pulled out his gun!
Witnesses say one of the white men fired first and missed. Shakur shot him in the stomach, and the other in the behind. But that wasn’t the last Shakur would see of the bullies – they were actually off-duty police officers, and this landed him an assault charge!
Nevertheless, Shakur walked free! The trial revealed that both white men were intoxicated and that their gun was actually stolen from an evidence locker. Regardless, he was clearly saving another man’s life. Of course Shakur had no regrets.
“White people got you believing that [I’m insane],” he shrugged. “Just ‘cause I’m telling a nigga to … kill the muthafuckin’ cop that’s killing you ... That is not insane … That’s positive like a muthafucka.”
Of course, Black people still face pushback from fighting police violence today. But like Shakur challenging the system with his music and potentially life-saving intervention, we have to protect each other – by any means necessary!