On Sep. 12, social justice warrior Tamika Mallory spoke with TMZ about the tragic shooting of Philadelphia MC PnB Rock. On Monday, the beloved rapper was fatally shot while eating lunch with his girlfriend at a Roscoe’s Chicken ‘N Waffles in Los Angeles. He was 30-years-old.
Mallory told the outlet that she believed Rock’s murder was the tragic result of poverty and “economic challenges” in the Black community, a long-standing issue that has only been exacerbated due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Gun violence soared during the pandemic
Over the last two years, gun violence has soared in communities of color across the United States. In 2020, 12,179 Black Americans were killed with guns, with many of the tragic shootings impacting young Black Americans between the ages of 15 and 34, according to The America Progress Organization. Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee were slammed with some of the highest rates of gun violence amid the pandemic.
Mallory went on to cite some of the horrific shooting incidents in other cities, like the untimely passing of Young Dolph in Memphis that occurred earlier this year.
“Atlanta has also been unfortunately ground zero. In New York, whether you’re a rapper or not, people are dying every day. Poverty is violence,” Mallory continued. “That has to be addressed coming out of a pandemic. People are struggling. We’re doing something to deal with the middle class, but there has to be something done about impacting people that live in marginalized communities. I think that that’s what this is all about, calling out to our government,” she said.
“You’re never gonna stop all violence, but you can certainly bring it down and make people comfortable, so that they know from day to day in inflation, that they can pay for groceries because when I, a person who has resources, goes to the gas station and have to pay $100 to fill up my tank, I know its hurting average RayRay and Keisha, who don’t have the resources to do so,” Mallory added.
On Monday, L.A. authorities said a suspect pulled out a gun and approached PnB Rock and his girlfriend Stephanie Sibounheuang as they were eating. The assailant demanded the rapper’s “property” before shooting several times,” PEOPLE noted. The suspect has not been identified by authorities and is still at large.
PnB Rock spoke about being a target days before his death
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michael Moore told CNN that the suspect came to the restaurant “after a social media posting of the artist” identified his location. Shockingly, just days before his tragic death, Rock spoke with DJ Akademics about the rise in robberies among prominent members of the hip-hop community.
“It’s so common,” he said, later adding, “I never got robbed. Ever in my life. I ain’t gon’ say never. I don’t like saying ‘never.’ I’m not superstitious, but I haven’t been robbed.” The rapper shared that he intentionally stayed away from nightclubs and spaces where he could fall prey to violence.
“I’m not gonna put myself in those situations because I know what happens in those situations,” he added. The rapper also said that a few “bold” criminals recently attempted to rob him while he was out with his girlfriend and his child.
Watch the full interview below.