On Thursday, rapper Method Man spoke to MSNBC’s Tamron Hall about the shooting of two Ferguson police officers, and argued that the DOJ report “kind of played into this and these things shouldn't be happening, but you reap what you sow in a sense.”
Throughout the majority of the interview, the former member of the Wu-Tang Clan discussed the difficulty of growing up poor in Staten Island, New York and how their was a lack of trust between the community and police officers. Method Man then went on to claim that given the racial tensions in Ferguson, cops being shot was not completely unexpected:
With this thing that happened in Ferguson just now with the two officers, sad, very sad. I hate to say that that FBI [DOJ] report kind of played into this and these things shouldn't be happening, but you reap what you sow in a sense. If that FBI [DOJ] report would have never came out and the scandal and how they are basically giving -- paying the city by giving people tickets and things like that. That is incredibly insane but I know, we knew this already, this is common knowledge in the ghetto.
See full transcript of Method Man’s comments below.
MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall
March 12, 2015
TAMRON HALL: I’m joined now by hip-hop legend and a member of the iconic group Wu-Tang Clan Method Man who spoke out during the aftermath of Eric Garner's death in Staten Island, New York, the same town where of course Method Man grew up. And the Garner case has drawn similarities to what's happening in Ferguson. Full disclosure, we were going to talk about this movie you've got coming out. You’ve transitioned from hip-hop, which you're still of course loyal to to acting but I said, you know what, I want Method Man on to talk about just his thoughts. You had a friend who was killed some time ago in Staten Island as a result of what's I believe to be a police shooting --
METHOD MAN: No, it wasn’t a police shooting. He was actually death by asphyxiation, same as Eric Garner.
HALL: Same as Eric Garner. I apologize.
METHOD MAN: When you see a pattern like that, it kind of raises an eyebrow. There are great people in my old community that law-abiding citizens go to work every day, come home, feed their kids, struggling but this is our way of life. There are great cops out there too. Some cops they go above and beyond the call of duty to maybe help someone with the groceries upstairs, things of that nature. They’re community cops. But ou then you have bad apples and all bad apples don't ruin the batch.
For me, being on both sides of it, because in earlier on in my life being a youth in the hood, I would be harassed. Illegal searches, the works. As I got older, knowing my rights and I guess because of the persona, Method Man, whatever, great Staten Island dude, the cops were a little bit more lenient. A bit more understanding, maybe they didn't want to write the ticket that day, who knows.I was treated differently. So I know they aren't all bad cops, they aren’t all bad people in the hood. I just think there should be some type of forum for both sides to speak to each other so there can be some type of understanding.
HALL: Well you know it’s so interesting, we've been having this conversation for a very long time. Listen when NWA came out with that infamous song “F the police” people were offended and some people said this is about hating cops but it was actually a story of what was happening and that was the '80s. And now here we are, 2015, still talking about this adversarial relationship amongst some police officers and some within minority communities, black and brown.
METHOD MAN: Well a lot of that has to do, like I said with the communication barriers. That thing with the NWA with “F the police” there was a lot going on in L.A. at the time and hip-hop is always reflected as background. And a lot of us felt that way at that point in time, you know what, F them, I'm looking at my situation being searched at thirteen illegally searched at 13 and I’m on my way to a menial paying job for summer youth employment just minding my business and I’m getting searched in my own building where I live, at yeah, F the police. But at the same sense, you got to understand that, it's all about fear --
HALL: On both sides.
METHOD MAN: On both sides exactly. We're afraid of the police of what they can do and power that we think that they wield as far as if something happens to me from a police officer, will it be covered up? Will their be justice for me, whatever? With the cops, we don't live in these neighborhoods, we just know what we see on television and what other people have told us. And we’re just as frightened as these people, you know, but we have guns and when you deal with human nature, human nature, not just this is an officer who's dealing with things professionally, he's still a human being.
And when that fear kicks in, you never know what can happen.I mean, I just made an analogy the other day about how someone can tap you on the shoulder, scare the mess out of you and your first reaction is to turn around and you might smack them. Imagine if you have a gun in your hand? It's the same thing. With this thing that happened in Ferguson just now with the two officers, sad, very sad. I hate to say that that FBI [DOJ] report kind of played into this and these things shouldn't be happening, but you reap what you sow in a sense. If that FBI [DOJ] report would have never came out and the scandal and how they are basically giving -- paying the city by giving people tickets and things like that. That is incredibly insane but I know, we knew this already, this is common knowledge in the ghetto. Like when they come in the hood -- guys used to sit out and drink beer in public, stuff like that, never a problem at times. But when they are trying to make quotas --