Soul singer Lester Chambers was attacked on stage in America after dedicating a song to Trayvon Martin.
Chambers, who is a member of The Chamber Brothers, was attacked while playing a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People Get Ready’ at California’s Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival. Video footage filmed during Chambers’ performance shows the moment a crowd member, since named as Dinalynn Andrews Potter, climbed onto the stage and assaulted the singer. Chambers has been left with a bruised rib muscle and nerve damage since the incident.
According to the Contra Costa Times, the incident occurred midway through Chambers’ performance after he addressed Martin’s controversial death and said that if Mayfield were alive today, the lyric “there’s a train a-comin'” would be changed to “there’s a change a-comin'”. Andrews Potter has since been arrested and booked on suspicion of battery, but was later released. Chambers’ family are believed to be hopeful of pressing charges against the attacker, the newspaper reports.
Chambers’ comments follow the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who was accused of murdering Trayvon Martin in 2012. Zimmerman, then 28, killed Trayvon on the evening of February 26, 2012. On the night in question, Zimmerman was driving through the neighbourhood when he caught sight of Trayvon in the street. Zimmerman called the police, claiming Trayvon looked suspicious. What happened next is still unclear – prosecutors say Zimmerman went to pursue Trayvon, Zimmerman’s lawyers claim Trayvon confronted and attacked him. The altercation finished with Zimmerman firing a shot from his 9mm pistol which hit the teenager in the chest.
Over the weekend (July 13), Beyoncé dedicated a moment’s silence to Martin at a gig in Nashville. As protests took place across America demanding justice for the teenager’s family and questioning the fairness of the US justice system, musicians at London’s Wireless festival also spoke out about the case. During Jay-Z’s co-headline slot last night (July 14), the rapper told the crowd: “Rest in peace, Trayvon Martin.” Performing their first gig for 20 years, A Tribe Called Quest also issued a call to fans. “I don’t want to be a downer but yesterday in America, we saw a miscarriage of justice,” said Q-Tip. “It’s not the first time this has happened. Pray for us… we need help.”
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