Vic Mensa and his SaveMoneySaveLife foundation have announced they plan to give away thousands of free sneakers to Chicago residents. The move comes a few weeks after the “bait truck” incident, in which Nike shoes were said to have been used by police to lure locals into stealing in the city’s poorer neighborhoods.
On Friday, the Chicago rapper tweeted, “Last week Chicago Police escorted a ‘bait-truck’ full of shoes through the South Side of Chicago to lure poor people with FREE NIKES. So we’re filling a truck with shoes to give away to those who need it,” adding a link through which users could buy and donate shoes.
The “bait truck” was met with a backlash from local residents and the ACLU, who condemned the tactic after videos showing the operation went viral.
SaveMoneySaveLife reportedly reached out to shoe companies, athletes, and other high-profile figures in the hope they would donate shoes or help promote the campaign.
“We wanted to do something in response, but have a positive response,” SaveMoneySaveLife executive director Laundi Keepseagle said on Thursday. “We don’t want to create conflict with the police, but we do want to take a step forward, and just showcase that acts like that aren’t acceptable in communities that we care for.”
Once enough shoes have been gathered, SaveMoneySaveLife plans to station an “anti-bait truck,” where shoes will be given away. According to Keepseagle, the date of the event will be released after the shoes have been received.
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