Kanye West has come out to show his support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, appearing at a rally in Chicago on Thursday night.
The rapper, a proud Chicago native, was seen at the “Justice for George Floyd/CPD out of CPS” rally on the city’s South Side, though he did not participate in the subsequent march.
Protests have erupted around the world since Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in Minneapolis. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, elevated to second-degree murder this week. The other three officers involved, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, were charged with aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.
The protests have also brought more attention to the deaths of other Black people at the hands of police, specifically Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot to death in her own home by police officers in Kentucky in March, and Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was killed while jogging in Georgia in February.
Earlier on Thursday, a representative for West confirmed to People that the rapper had created a 529 college savings plan to pay for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna’s future tuition.
West reportedly donated a total of $2 million to support Black-owned businesses in Chicago and to support the families of Floyd, Arbery and Taylor.
One of the lawyers representing Taylor’s family, attorney Lonita Baker, explained that West’s money would help cover mounting legal fees in an interview with USA Today. She said that “typically, the costs would be deducted from any recovery that the family may receive at the conclusion of the case.”
“Kanye wanted to ensure that the family would not have to bear the brunt of those costs,” she shared.