In the wake of George Floyd's death, Nick Cannon is touching on the overarching themes behind the tragedy — and how he discusses them with his young children.
"My children fear police," the musician and Masked Singer host, 39, said during a recent interview with Access. "I try to teach fearlessness. I try to teach, 'You have a power within you that you need to fear nothing.' But when they see the energy of law enforcement [it's like], 'Uh oh, here comes the police.' "
"So that mindset of, 'Sit up straight and don't talk, keep your hands where they can see them' — these are things that I'm talking to a 3-year-old about [and] 9-year-olds about; they bring those questions to me," added Cannon, who's dad to 3-year-old son Golden and 9-year-old twins Moroccan Scott and Monroe.
Cannon remembers, while he was growing up, his "family was afraid to call the police," and says the fear was ingrained as "part of [their] culture."
"It's something that's hurtful to have those conversations with your children, but you want to protect them at the end of the day," the father of three told Access.
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Cannon's comments in Tuesday's Access video come just over a week after Floyd, a 46-year-old truck driver, was killed. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for several minutes with a knee on the unarmed man's neck, amid Floyd's repeated cries that included statements like, "I can't breathe."
In a report released Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed Floyd's cause of death as a homicide — specifically, "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." It also said he "experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)."
Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. He and the three other officers present were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department last week. Floyd's family is seeking a first-degree murder charge to be filed against Chauvin.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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