Well, it’s sort of what you would expect from Tupac Shakur, but now the former police officer who was questioning the hip hop legend on his death bed, reveals Shakur’s dying words…
Chris Caroll, a former Las Vegas motorcycle cop who was on the scene at Shakur’s fatal shooting back in 1996, recently told the Vegas Seven, the dying rapper’s last words. Caroll was well aware of Tupac’s attitude towards the police, as were most police officers with their finger on the pulse of popular culture at that time. Tupac had become, essentially, public enemy #1 to law enforcement around the country, both for his anti-police lyrics, and following his acquittal for literally shooting two intoxicated off duty officers who fired at him during a jaywalking incident.
Caroll said in the interview that Shakur’s final moments locked on Suge Knight… Caroll doesn’t seem to indicate whether he saw this as suspicious, but he does seem oblivious to whatever Shakur was saying to Knight.
“So I’m looking at Tupac, and he’s trying to yell back at Suge, and I’m asking him, ‘Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?’ And he was just kind of ignoring me. He was making eye contact with me here and there, but he’s trying to yell at Suge. And I kept asking over and over, ‘Who did this? Who shot you?’ And he basically kept ignoring me. And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changed. And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an ‘I’m at peace’ type of thing. Just like that.
“He went from fighting to ‘I can’t do it.’ And when he made that transition, he looked at me, and he’s looking right in my eyes. And that’s when I looked at him and said one more time, ‘Who shot you?’
Then, Tupac took a moment, paused, and with an exhalation, answered the officer in a way fitting for the legacy of the notoriously anti-cop artist.
“He looked at me and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: ‘Fuck you.’”
Caroll says that he didn’t feel comfortable commenting until after he retired. But also, he held off on revealing these dying words as a matter of spite towards Tupac:
“The…main reason I didn’t go public with this before is I didn’t want Tupac to be a martyr or hero because he told the cops ‘Fuck you.’ I didn’t want to give him that. I didn’t want people to say, ‘Even when the chips were down, his life on the line, he still said “Fuck you,” he still wouldn’t talk to the police.’ I didn’t want him to be a hero for that. And now enough time has passed, well, he’s a martyr anyway; he’s viewed as a hero anyway. My story, at this point, isn’t going to change any of that.”
Caroll’s revelation might raise more questions as to who shot Tupac than it answers, but one thing is for certain: it cements the image of Tupac as forever consistent – in life and lyric – right to his dying breath.
(Article by Isa Abu Jamal; image via Mike Miller Photography)