Keke Palmer reflects on attending Black Lives Matter protest and calls out cops for 'kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters'

Advertisement
Keke Palmer reflects on attending Black Lives Matter protest and calls out cops for 'kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters'
Keke Palmer attended Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles, California.GP Images / Getty Images
  • Keke Palmer said she considers cops kneeling at protests to be a "mockery," explaining that some police officers attack "peaceful protestors" moments after taking a knee.
  • The actress recalled her experience attending Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles, California, in an essay she wrote for Variety on Tuesday.
  • She witnessed several National Guard troops kneel with the protestors, which she said "isn't enough."
  • "While a few guardsmen knelt, for me that isn't enough. Kneeling has become a mockery of sorts. Kneeling on George Floyd's neck is what killed him," she wrote.
  • Palmer added, "Now we see police officers kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters. At this point, the kneeling has no meaning."

Keke Palmer said police officers who attack peaceful protestors shortly after taking a knee have turned the act of kneeling into a "mockery of sorts."

In an essay she wrote in Variety on Tuesday, the actress, 26, drew on her experience attending Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles, California. Palmer recalled pleading with the National Guard troops to march along with the protestors in solidarity, rather than block their route. The moment has since gone viral on social media.

Though the officers didn't join the protest, several did take a knee — a behavior Palmer said she now considers to be meaningless since officers have been seen inflicting violence on protestors shortly after kneeling.

Advertisement

"While a few guardsmen knelt, for me that isn't enough. Kneeling has become a mockery of sorts. Kneeling on George Floyd's neck is what killed him," she wrote, referring to former officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes before he died.

Palmer continued, "Now we see police officers kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters. At this point, the kneeling has no meaning."

Keke Palmer reflects on attending Black Lives Matter protest and calls out cops for 'kneeling and then, moments later, attacking peaceful protesters'
Police officers kneel in Coral Gables, Florida on May 30 following George Floyd's death.EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI / Getty Images

Advertisement

Some people view the gesture as a step in the right direction and share videos of officers taking a knee, however Palmer isn't the only person that views the behavior as performative, rather than helpful.

Kendrick Sampson, star of HBO's "Insecure" and Black Lives Matter organizer, vocalized his problems with seeing LAPD officers kneeling alongside protestors, calling the action "a farce" and "PR to make them look good."

"We don't want anybody to take a knee. A knee does not help me heal the wounds. They shot me seven times on Saturday. It does not help my boy who has two broken bones in his skull right now because they aimed a cannon at his head with rubber bullets and shot him directly," he told ABC News.

Advertisement

"It does not help the 601 people that have been murdered at the hands of police in LA County since eight years ago."

On June 6, Sampson shared a photo of the wounds he got while attending the protests, calling on the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, to join a Black Lives Matter town hall to discuss the violence and defund the police.

Writer Roxane Gay also criticized police who kneel during the protests, challenging law enforcement officers and white people to "stand up for real, radical, sustained change" instead.

Advertisement

The Black Lives Matter Twitter account released similar messaging as Gay, saying, "We don't want to kneel with the police." Rather, the account called to defund the police, a cause that celebrities like Lizzo, John Legend, and Jane Fonda have pushed for using their own platforms.

{{}}