Two Bronx public defenders step down after appearance in "kill cops" video
theGrio REPORT - Two Bronx public defenders have stepped down following their participation in a cop-killing rap video, "Hands Up," featuring Uncle Murda and Maino.
Two Bronx public defenders have stepped down following their participation in a cop-killing rap video, “Hands Up,” featuring Uncle Murda and Maino.
Attorneys Ryan Napoli and Kumar Rao acted in the video and arranged for it to be filmed at their Bronx Defenders headquarters. Yet they claim not to have been aware of the context of the video, though Napoli had heard the lyrics.
Rao also said that he thought he and Napoli would get a chance to see and edit the video prior to its public release.
The video showed guns held to cops’ heads, with the lyric:
“For Mike Brown and Sean Bell, a cop got to get killed.”
Robin Steinberg, the director of the Bronx Defenders, which has received over $40 million to represent the poor, has also been suspended without pay for 60 days following “misleading” statements about his knowledge of Napoli and Rao’s participation.
A probe by the city Department of Investigation found that Steinberg failed to discipline staffers after learning of the video and even lied to officials about it.
A statement on the organization’s website reads:
The Bronx Defenders never approved the music video “Hands Up”, and never saw it before it went online. We deeply regret any involvement with this video.
Grio fam, do you think Napoli and Rao made a poor judgment call being in this Eric Garner tribute?