Jay Z & N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo Discuss Criminal Justice Reform

Jay Z performs on day two of the Yahoo Wireless Music Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 13 in London (Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)

Jay Z, the most powerful man in hip hop, has met with New York’s highest-elected official, Governor Andrew Cuomo, to rap on reform to the state’s criminal justice system. 

Hov met with Cuomo on Wednesday to discuss potential changes to law, and to float the appointment of a special prosecutor following the controversial choking death of Eric Garner by an NYPD officer, the Daily Kos Website reports.

The rap-meets-politics pow-wow took place at Cuomo’s Manhattan offices. The governor’s spokesperson Melissa DeRosa shared a picture of the meeting on Twitter (see below). She later said the two men “had a productive conversation about doing a top-to-bottom review of the criminal-justice system, and how we can all work together to pass a reform package that ensures equality in the eyes of the law,” according to the NY Post’s Page Six column.

Hov and others have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of police brutality since a Staten Island grand jury chose to not bring charges in the death of Garner, a New Yorker who died after being placed in a chokehold by New York cop Daniel Pantaleo. Just days earlier, a Ferguson grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown. Plenty of artists from across all genres have been vocal on the two cases, while media outlets around the globe have closely followed the fall-out.

The Daily Kos points out that Jay Z, the reigning No. 1 (with his wife, Beyonce) on the Billboard Power 100 List, has quietly paid the tuition of Sean Bell’s children, who was shot dead by the NYPD in 2006, and provided funding to Ferguson protesters.


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