LeAnn Rimes Apologizes For Tweeting About “Riots” Amid Eric Garner Protests
LeAnn Rimes has apologized for what some followers interpreted as an insensitive tweet following Wednesday’s controversial decision by a grand jury not to indict the New York police officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold.
In the hours following the Garner decision, thousands of protesters took to the streets of midtown Manhattan. It so happens that NBC’s big live television event surrounding the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was happening at the same time, in the same place. Rimes was participating (she sang “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), and as the protest crowds and the holiday crowds converged, she tweeted, “Wow, riots are sad tonight coming out of a joyous place. #peaceatchristmas #prayersforall.”
Twitter users immediately took Rimes to task. One wrote to the singer, “Riots aren’t sad you idiot. Someone being murdered by a police officer is sad. Get off Twitter and educate yourself.” Another follower said, “There are no riots happening in NYC right now. There are protests.” A third person simply tweeted, “#BlackLivesMatter.”
Rimes began to backtrack and explain what she meant in a series of interactions with followers. In response to someone who noted, “They’d love us to think it’s a bunch of rioting when it’s mostly protesting. Why mention riots? #BlackLivesMatter,” Rimes answered, “Lots of protesting going on but it’s not pretty right now. It’s sad any negativity at this time.”
The star later wrote, “Yes, it’s all sad and disturbing & I’m saying it’s horrible everyone can’t live in peace. #imprayingforeveryoneinvolved.” She told another follower, “Omg I have a heart for human beings and think any hate towards anyone is sad.”
Rimes then offered this longer apology: “My heart is in the right place. I am sad for everyone tonight. Those who are wronged, those who are struggling, those who are heartbroken. My heart is with you. I wish peace for all. I apologize if my understanding of the ny protests were taken in any other way. It was what was being relayed to me and reported.” There you have it. What do you think about Rimes’ original “riots” tweet and what she said later?