As Baltimore erupted in protests Monday over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering a spinal injury following an arrest, one man decided to send a message through Michael Jackson's music.
Sputnick News captured video of an unnamed Jackson impersonator dancing to "Beat It" atop a parked truck just blocks away from a police line and the burning CVS pharmacy, the Daily Dot noted. He continued dancing as people gathered around and recorded him moonwalking in the street.
— Sputnik US (@SputnikNewsUS) April 27, 2015
Others noted how the dancer's presence helped ease the tense situation a bit.
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterStrib) April 28, 2015
Later in the evening, the man reappeared for another round of "Beat It." This time, NBC's Shomari Stone got video of the routine.
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) April 28, 2015
TheWrap noted the parallel between the song's lyrics and the situation unfolding in Baltimore. The video for the song, released as a single in 1983 from the "Thriller" album, focuses on a gang fight. Jackson lies in bed thinking about the violence around him before going out and breaking up the brawl.