Jay-Z speaks on George Floyd, calls on prosecution to ‘fullest extent of the law’
The rapper says he is a father and a Black man 'in pain.'
Rapper Jay-Z spoke out on the police killing of George Floyd Sunday night, endorsing the Minnesota governor’s announcement earlier that day that the state’s attorney general would take the lead on any charges brought against the officers involved.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the “Hard Knock Life” rapper said he had a “human conversation” with Gov. Tim Walz as a “dad and a Black man in pain.” He applauded Walz’s move to appoint Attorney General Keith Ellison, the first African American and the first Muslim American elected to statewide office in Minnesota, to prosecute the murder case. He will work alongside Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman who brought the charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin was the officer seen pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes until his death in a widespread video. Freeman on Friday charged Chauvin with murder in the 3rd degree and manslaughter.
“Yes, I am human, a father and a Black man in pain and I am not the only one,” said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. “Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law.”
The statement was publicized through REFORM Alliance, the criminal justice reform advocacy group Jay-Z founded with Meek Mill more than a year ago. The statement did not mention racism, police brutality, or the nationwide protests that followed the 46-year-old man’s homicide.
— REFORM Alliance (@REFORM) June 1, 2020
Ellison, who is in his first term, was added to the prosecution team after activists, a number of Minneapolis City Council members and a civil rights group called on his selection to strengthen the quest for justice, according to The Associated Press. The state’s top lawyer helped put together a working group with the goal to reduce police violence.
A Detroit native, Ellison previously completed six terms representing Minnesota in the U.S. House and was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Jay-Z said he is determined to fight for justice against his “would-be oppressors” and urged that every politician, prosecutor and officer across the country “have the courage to do what is right.”
“Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves,” he said.
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