Kanye West is standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters in his hometown of Chicago as they march to demand an end to police brutality and racism following the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. The rapper was photographed wearing a mask as he participated in the protest Thursday, and can be seen in a video shared by NBC Chicago reporter Trina Orlando.
In the video, West can be seen standing in a group of demonstrators as a fellow protester shouts, "We need everybody to stand where they are because we are going to march." While some people in the replies called for West to publicly denounce President Donald Trump after his vocal support of him in the past, others thanked the rapper for joining the cause.
West has also been giving financially, creating a 529 college savings plan that will fully cover tuition for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna, his representative confirmed Wednesday. The artist also donated $2 million to support the families of and the legal funds for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and has reportedly donated to a number of black-owned businesses both in Chicago and across the country.
Floyd died on May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes as the 46-year-old man pleaded that he couldn't breathe. Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Chauvin had been charged with second-degree murder, and the three other fired officers who were on the scene — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Arbery was killed on Feb. 23 after being chased down a Brunswick, Georgia street, by two white men, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the McMichaels shot Arbery, an unarmed black man, after they saw him jogging. Both men were charged with murder and aggravated assault after a video of the confrontation was circulated on social media last month.
Taylor, a 26-year-old black EMT, was killed by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment on March 13 when officers served a "no-knock" warrant on the wrong apartment, which prompted her boyfriend to pull his own permitted weapon in fear of his life. No arrests have been made in her case.