Peter Tosh’s Estate Giving Share of ‘Equal Rights’ Income to Families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown [Video]
The families Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the victims of fatal police shootings, are getting a financial boost from a reggae icon's 1970s rallying song.
With thousands preparing to mass in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, for the National Action Network's Justice for All March, Grammy Award-winning musician Peter Tosh's estate today announced that, over the next year, 10 percent of all net income from streaming and downloads of Tosh's song "Equal Rights" will be donated to the families.
Garner, 43, died after a police officer placed him in choke hold while attempting to arrest him in July in Staten Island, N.Y. Brown, 18, was fatally shot in August in Ferguson, Mo.
Last week, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Garner. Last month, a grand jury in Ferguson declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown.
"Brown and Garner are symbols of an issue that needs to be urgently addressed in America," said Brian Latture, Peter Tosh brand manager and CEO of entertainment management firm The MegaSource Group, in a statement. "These cases of racially-motivated police brutality, and the no-indictment rulings for the cops, set off a movement of all ages and races demanding criminal justice reform.
"The time has come to re-energize the pursuit of equal rights through music, and I know that if Peter were physically with us he'd want to, in some way, help support the relatives of those that were killed in the line of living."
Released in 1977, Tosh pleads in "Equal Rights:" "I don't want peace; I want equal rights and justice."
A founding member of The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer as well as a solo artist, Tosh is one of the most outspoken of Jamaica's reggae pioneers. As a musician and writer, he was signed to The Rolling Stones' music label in 1978 and opened for the British group on its 1978 U.S. tour.
Tosh died in September 1987 at his St. Andrews, Jamaica, home at the hands of gunmen; he was 42 years old.
He "was very altruistic and an advocate for justice," said Niambe McIntosh, Tosh's daughter and his estate's administrator.