Yesterday, Jay Z proclaimed his support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as the politician rolled sweeping reforms in his fifth fifth State of the State speech.
Particularly, the governor outlined a 7-point plan to facilitate better relations between police and the communities they serve. The move comes on the controversial death of Eric Garner, the most visible victim of police brutality in the current New York. Garner’s killer, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, was not indicted for murder.
Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, applauded the move in a statement.
“The criminal justice reform package proposed by Governor Cuomo today is a huge step forward in restoring fairness, protection, sensitivity and accountability for all under our justice system,” the Roc Nation mogul stated. “ I commend Governor Cuomo for his bold leadership in taking this issue head on at this critical time. This package presents comprehensive steps to protect and improve relations amongst all citizens. We cannot be divided, as every single human being matters. Together, we can move forward as a community, with mutual respect for each other and continue to make this great state stronger than ever before.”
In his speech, Cuomo admitted the obvious – there is a problem with police brutality in New York.
“The promise of equal justice is a New York promise and it is an American promise. We are currently in the midst of a national problem where people are questioning our justice system,” Cuomo told an audience in Albany, lightly referencing other acts of police misconduct. “And they’re questioning whether the justice system really is fairness for all. And whether the justice system really is colorblind. And that’s not just New York, it’s a problem all across the country.”
Cuomo called for:
A statewide commission on police and community relations, that includes community leaders and reps from the police as well
The governor will seek to hire more minority officers
The NYPD will seek to buy more equipment, including body cameras to be wore by officers
Cuomo seeks to have police brutality indictments, or lack of, explained by lawyers in closed jury cases
An independent monitor would also have full access to these otherwise sealed grand jury records.
The monitor will likely have the power to recommend the appointment of a special prosecutor if the local DA is unable to get an indictment in police brutality cases in New York.
The plan also would seek to protect 16 and 17-year-olds found guilty of a crime from going into state prisons