Tupac’s close friend and former personal assistant, Kendrick Wells, spoke with Cam Capone News about Tupac Shakur’s incident with Oakland police.
Kendrick Wells touched on how Tupac’s knowledge empowered himself and others. “As I learned how to manage through that stuff, I learned how to talk to police. Learned how to know my rights, all that kind of stuff. And, when Tupac came along, this guy knew more about rights, and black issues, and what to say to police officers. So Tupac was always like telling the police off, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do this’,” says Kendrick. “And, they’re just trying to get the f*** out, cause they’re over their head. Cause he was very verse in the law and how to speak. He would create audiences. People would start coming and looking, so the police couldn’t get away with stuff they usually did.”
Fast forward to Oakland October 1991, Kendrick Wells remembers the infamous incident when Oakland police beat Tupac. A beating which left him badly bruised. While crossing an Oakland street, two police officers approached accusing him of jaywalking. The two officers gave Tupac a hard time and ridiculed him when he stated his name was Tupac. The officers would eventually bash ‘Pac’s face repeatedly to the ground.
“I think he was jay walking, and I think he tried to tell some cops something about himself, and the cop wasn’t having it,” explains Kendrick. “They whooped on him and it was documented. People saw it. They didn’t know they was whooping on an up coming rapper.”
Tupac’s career was on the rise and the story of Oakland police harassment of him made the news. Speaking to Kendrick after the incident, ‘Pac knew that justice would prevail, saying “they got theirs coming.” As a result, Tupac would go on to win $42,000 in a lawsuit against the police department.
Taken aback at ‘Pac’s stance, Kendrick witnessed the first time a black man making noise about police brutality and people were listening. Realizing the extent of Tupac’s knowledge and power. “First time I saw someone get their ass beat, and do something about it. And, people made mention of it, and it was amazing. I was like really? Tupac had a lot of those “really” moments.
One of those “really” moments Kendrick is referring to is when Tupac shot at two off duty officers. “When he shot a cop in the ass, and he got away with it. That was Tupac. It was different being a black person, next to this guy. It was different being a black person next to Tupac,” says Kendrick. “When ‘Pac was around we was who we were suppose to be, and that was amazing.”