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The Chicks Reference Osaze Osagie in New Music Video

by on June 25, 2020 8:05 PM

Osaze Osagie, the 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by State College police last year, is briefly referenced in a new music video released Thursday by The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks).

The country-pop trio's new single "March March" is a tribute to historical and current protests for causes ranging from climate change to LGBTQ rights to the Black Lives Matter movement.

During the second half of the video, the names of Black men and women killed by police flash rapidly on screen. Osagie's name appears at the 3:20 mark. Whether intentionally or not, the timing matches the date of Osagie's death, March 20.

Osagie was shot and killed by one of three officers who came to his Old Boalsburg Road apartment to serve a mental health warrant.  The three officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing by Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna following an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police, which found the officer who fired the shots was in a life-or-death situation when Osagie charged at him with a knife in a narrow hallway and another officer's Taser failed. 

The state police Heritage Affairs Section found no racial bias was involved in the shooting.

Some community members, including the 3/20 Coalition formed following Osagie's death, have rejected those findings and for the past 15 months have called for changes to local policing and the service of mental health warrants.

Amid the rising Black Lives Matter protests nationally and locally in recent weeks, their demands — many of which have been made over the past year — have received renewed attention.

The coalition delivered a list of 10 demands to State College leaders earlier this month and on Monday borough council passed a resolution committing to measures addressing eight of them, including the creation of a community oversight board for the police department.

Coalition members applauded the resolution but have continued to push for the other two demands: the naming of the officer involved and firing of the officer who shot Osagie, and financial compensation to the Osagie family.

The borough council resolution says those cannot be addressed because of an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit filed by Osagie's parents.

The Chicks, meanwhile, appear to have dropped "Dixie" from their name as of Thursday because of its association with the Confederacy. The band — Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire — made no formal explanation outside of one sentence posted to their website on Thursday: "We want to meet this moment."

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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