The Louisiana All American Sports Show interviewed Mr. Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed on its Saturday, July 29th program.
In the interview (beginning at 16:05 in the program) Mr. Reed addressed his recent remarks to the Baton Rouge Metro Council, his continued call for justice in the Alton Sterling case, the killing of three police officers by Gavin Long last summer and his mission to educate Baton Rouge youth in communication techniques to avoid violence. A contract with Mr. Reed’s organization, Stop the Killing Inc., as part of the BRAVE program was suspended by the City following his comments at the Metro Council and attacks by former Metro Councilman Delgado, Councilman Amoroso, and local conservative media outlet The Hayride, among others.
Among highlights of the interview, Reed said Gavin Long committed a “horrific act” and “a very serious act of terrorism,” going further to say “I apologize to those family members who lost their family in law enforcement at that particular act that took place.” Other Baton Rouge media outlets have selectively quoted from Reed’s statements to portray him as sympathetic with Long.
Explaining those comments at length, in the LAAS interview Mr. Reed said: “Salamoni’s action is what brought this havoc here to Baton Rouge, brought this violence here to Baton Rouge from Gavin Long, is what I was actually saying that violence begets violence here in Baton Rouge by Salamoni’s actions … (I’m) not glorifying what Gavin Long did because definitely, being an activist for stopping the killing I’m not ‘stop the killings just on blacks,’ I’m for stop the killings against police officers or whatever cause needs to be fought for.”
Addressing the continued lack of action by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to charge BRPD officer Blane Salamoni in Alton Sterling’s July, 2016 death, Reed said, “This case should be closed, Salamoni should be fired according to the videos that have been seen with him placing a gun to Alton Sterling’s head. … The City Council has taken action on other officers and fired them just for making text messages. [Salamoni] should be fired based on putting a gun to an individual’s head and threatening to kill him. That’s conduct unbefitting of an officer.”
Speaking more broadly about the need for police reform in Baton Rouge and his work with youth through Stop the Killing, Inc., Slim said the movement for justice for Alton Sterling “is still a struggle, a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement to try to stop these type of individuals, get rid of them so that we can have a police force we can be proud of. We have a very good police force in Baton Rouge but we still have some bad apples that’s stuck inside of that bunch. “
On his now-cancelled BRAVE contract, Mr. Reed expressed no regrets about making the Metro Council statement, saying “If I cared about the money I wouldn’t have made the statement … The conversation that’s happening right now [about the unresolved Sterling investigation] wouldn’t be happening if I hadn’t made those statements.”
Against critics of Reed and other community organizations receiving BRAVE funds, Slim said his work would have amounted under the cancelled contract to $8.75 per child. “Who wouldn’t pay $8.75 for their child to receive effective communication techniques to avoid violence and senseless killings which is a curriculum that we have and save your child’s life and teach your child how to properly act when they’re stopped by police so they can make it home that afternoon. $8.75? Every child is worth more than that.”
Further addressing critics in the news media and religious organizations, Reed spoke about his 20 year-long mission to address violence among Baton Rouge youth. “I want to see a better Baton Rouge for the next generation. I want the life to be better for the next generation that’s coming up under me. I have a two year old son I want a better Baton Rouge for. [The critics] don’t have to like me – I was worried about some of the hateful and racist comments that I’ve been seeing about me, and I when I prayed about it God said ‘why try to get somebody to like you who has hated you all your life? Focus on what I have you on and everything will be alright.’”
“Some of these people that call me for interviews now haven’t done anything to change the city. Some of these people you see that are bashing me or putting all these bad posts up about me haven’t done anything to change the city. So at the end of the day they have to catch up to where I am and what I’ve done in the past for free from the passion God has given me, and that goes to some of our pastors too. Because some of the pastors are coming out, if you come out of your church and get in the streets where Jesus was, then you wouldn’t even have to worry about a Silky Slim being in existence. Because I don’t see you outside of your churches, because I don’t see you out there reaching the people then Silky Slim exists because of you. So if you want to get rid of Silky Slim come on out of that pulpit.”