Jay-Z is asking “every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right” by George Floyd, the Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.
The rapper released a statement on Sunday via his company Roc Nation’s Twitter account. He said he spoke Gov. Tim Walz about state Attorney General Keith Ellison’s involvement in the prosecution of now-former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin, who was seen in viral video footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter last week.
“After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor [Tim] Walz for doing what’s right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case,” Jay-Z said in the statement. “Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me — a dad and a black man in pain. Yes, I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one.”
He went on to say that he, “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 prosecution, Jay-Z explained, is just “the first step,” in the fight for justice. He added that he’s “more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have.”
“I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right,” he wrote. “Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves.”
Walz also spoke about his conversation with Jay-Z.
I received a call [Saturday] night — to understand how big this was — from Jay-Z,” the governor said, according to Variety. Not international performer, but dad stressing to me that justice needs to be served. It was so incredibly human … It was a dad, and I think quite honestly a black man whose visceral pain of this that he knew. … It’s a positive sign that someone of a stature, that has a presence like that, is focused in the moment of what Minnesotans are focused on.”
Ellison said on Sunday that he would work with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in prosecuting those involved in Floyd’s death.
“We are going to bring to bear all the resources necessary to achieve justice in this case and that means that we won’t leave any resources on the sideline as we pursue justice,” Ellison said.
Ellison said he and Freeman planned to meet on Monday to begin working together, according to CBS Minnesota.
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