WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES -- A few Los Angeles police officers are being credited with saving a pioneer rapper's life when he collapsed in front of them in Woodland Hills.
Officers Chris Vege, Calvin Hill and Pete Parra said their training and instincts kicked in over the weekend when they helped Kurtis Walker, also known as 80s rapper Kurtis Blow. Walker was the first rapper to be signed to a major record label in 1979.
As Walker recovers in a hospital, he is singing praises for the officers.
"The police saved my life, a Black man. In this day and age, people need to hear that!" he said in a statement.
Around 9 p.m. on Saturday, the trio had responded to a bus stop near the Westfield Promenade. It was initially reported as a robbery call, but it turned out to just be an argument between Walker and his son. As officers talked to the pair, Walker collapsed.
"I was holding his head, making sure he was stable, making sure his airway was open," Vege said.
Para said Walker came to a few times and they were able to temporarily revive him. But he added that Walker went out a few more times as they performed CPR on him.
After about five minutes, paramedics arrived and rushed walked to a hospital. He said he has the officers to thank.
"They got there so fast. If they got there any later, I would have died. I want to thank the officers from the bottom of my heart, no pun intended," he said.
The officers said they were just doing their job.
"Officers do not hesitate. They do not judge on what color you are, what religion you are, male, female. We're doing to jump in no matter what to help someone in need," Vege said.
Hill added that they do not need recognition, they were just "protecting and serving."