BLACK VOICES

'Straight Outta Compton' Star Reveals He Was Once Stopped And Frisked

The stars of the biopic weighed in on the parallels between police violence during the era of N.W.A. and today.

Decades after N.W.A. drew national attention for calling out police brutality, the battle against racially-charged police practices continues as the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray have reignited the conversation around cops and the black community. 

Corey Hawkins, who stars in the new N.W.A. biopic "Straight Outta Compton," carried on that discussion Wednesday when he joined HuffPost Live and recalled his own experience being stopped and frisked. 

"I live in New York. I walk down the street and I see my brothers being stopped and frisked, and I specifically remember being stopped and frisked [while] taking the trash from my apartment door to the trash can. I just remember the frustration and the anger and sort of feeling a little confused and lost," Hawkins recounted to host Marc Lamont Hill.

Hawkins, whose mother is a police officer, said he "grew up seeing both sides" of the issue and urged for accountability and dialogue between both civilians and the police.

His co-star Jason Mitchell chimed in and said he sees "Straight Outta Compton" as a form of "non-violent protest."

"I'm from a very violent city. I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana, and it's good to see me be able to express my art, have a good opportunity for my life, make history and say something, without being violent," Mitchell said. "Without having to be one of them people who go to jail and do all that. We're in the position for the world to love us and accept what we're saying and also have our hands up at the same time."

The attention on the issue, created by a combination of activism, social media and films like "Straight Outta Compton," has created the potential for a resolution, the film's director F. Gary Gray added.  

"I'm cautiously optimistic that all of the headlines and all of the light that's being shined on excessive force and all the things that's been happening [will lead] people ... to push for change," Gray said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with the stars of "Straight Outta Compton" here

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