LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Linkin’ Bridge made it big on America’s Got Talent, but now the Louisville music group is facing criticism. The group’s members claim social media insults slung at them are labeling them as sell-outs or worse after they performed for law enforcement at a time many are asking for police reform and racial justice.
The group wanted to tell their side of the story. Three members did that at a press conference on Monday.
Montre “The Dreamer” Davis said he knew there was a lot of emotion surrounding the topic, adding he wanted to be clear about the mission of the group.
“Our character and reputation was [sic] put into question,” Davis said. “We must speak not only in defense of those allegations but to clear up any misconceptions of our mission.”
To do that, the group decided to write a letter and read it aloud during the press event.
“The letter of Linkin’ Bridge to the citizens of Louisville, Kentucky,” Davis read.
At the outset of the message, he aimed to dispel portions of what those online have written.
“Our mission is to spread peace, love, and joy to all who will receive it,” Davis read. “We never turned down anyone to sing for Breonna Taylor or Black Lives Matter. The truth is we were never asked.”
Members said supporting police and asking for racial justice and reform aren’t mutually exclusive.
”The problem is that there are racist police in the justice system, there are racist leaders in power,” Davis read. “There are protesters protesting, but dealing out the same racism they have been given.”
The letter went on to list black men and women killed by law enforcement, asking for reflection, then they discussed the desire to address black on black crime in the following sentence.
“David McAtee, age 53,” Davis read. “Desmond Rudolph, age 18. Breonna Taylor, age 26. The list goes on and on. The list also goes on for the deaths of black men and women by other blacks. I’m going to say that again.”
Police officers who lost their jobs for exposing or stopping police brutality and misconduct were next listed.
Near the end of the letter, a clearer call for justice for Breonna Taylor was made.
“If Breonna Taylor had shot and killed the officer, where would Breonna Taylor be right now?” Davis said. “She would be in jail.”
Other members claimed police need to be held accountable in Taylor’s killing.
“Unrighteous killing man,” Ralph “Big Rome” Kimbrough said. “There has to be some type of accountability.”
The press conference was held at a Supporting Heroes building in east Louisville.