VIBE: Positivity is key and an important note that you said, Mike. I'm reporting live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City…
MT: I used to live on Franklin Avenue before my family and I moved to Brownsville, but I'm from Bed-Stuy originally.
VIBE: Well, in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, they had a situation involving the police and a 16-year-old boy named Kimani Gray. He was shot down by police who suspected he had a gun on his person. It caused a riot. With all the overall changes that are being made in and around Brooklyn—what are your thoughts on continued police brutality?
MT: We have to look at it from this perspective: There's always been police brutality. There's always been robbing, killing, and all of that type of stuff, y'know? We as people have to go to our councilman, our congressman, our civil duty minded folk and demand that they defend us. They must protect us the best way possible by the law. This is not just a Brooklyn or a national thing; kids are being gunned down by police for target practice around the globe. This is something that is pervasive to all ethnicities in the whole nation. We should demand better understanding from our local and national representatives. Tell me more about the situation that resulted in cops shooting this young gentleman...
VIBE: Cops are saying he had a gun… that he rolled with a gang and that he pulled it out on the officers. The community is saying something different and coming out to showcase their support. A riot broke out, martial law was declared, and obviously this will serve as the backdrop to another hot summer in Brooklyn. People want answers and in the Information Age, nothing is going to stop them from getting it.
MT: Y'know, we have to go to people who are better qualified than people like myself to handle issues like this. A guy like myself, what do I do? I go directly to my emotions. I'm from a neighborhood that is similar to that; I'm a young black man; and I am instantly made a suspect. Hell, that could be me or my child that was shot and killed. It's really hard to be objective when people like myself hear something like that from a neighborhood that I'm familiar with. That's why we have to go to these representatives in an attempt to deal with this in a rational way. By going to people who are more experienced to handle situations like this, we can ensure that people like me don't continue the cycle in a negative manner.
My message to everyone is to continue to work on that stuff in East Flatbush. God… If people really care about this young man and his life on this planet then you'll flood your local representative's inbox and not just give up. They expect you to give up. They want to weigh you down with time and delays—but don't give up! The day after time goes by then this is over. This is just another thing to them. It's time for justice to take a stand and get theirs.
VIBE: An ESPN documentary chronicled your friendship with 'Pac. You both are very dynamic figures with charisma to spare. Is there any pivotal moment where you realized how funny he was?
MT: Yeah! There was a party that we went to back in the day. I think it was a black tie party and he couldn't get in. So later on, I had let him and a bunch of guys into the mix from the back of the club. For some particular reason, 'Pac rushed around and got hold of a microphone in the club. He started rocking the mic. That was our first time really meeting. He later visited me when I was in prison in Indiana. But at the party, the whole place was going berserk at the sight of 'Pac doing his thing. He jumped on top of that table and began to give a speech. I had to say, "Can you come down now? Can you just get down from the table?" He caused a real stir up there and brought countless smiles to everyone's faces that night.
Scary Movie 5, currently in theaters, also stars Charlie Sheen, Ashley Tisdale and Erica Ash.