JAY-Z Says Justice for George Floyd Is 'Just a First Step' After Call With Minnesota Governor
By Zach Seemayer
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
JAY-Z is calling on every politician, official and member of law enforcement to help enact change and fight racial injustice. The music mogul revealed on Sunday that he'd spoken with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and called for the prosecution of the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd -- but added that justice in this case is just the beginning.
JAY-Z took to Instagram to address his conversation with Walz, and said that he'd been told the state's Attorney General Keith Ellison had taken over the case. JAY-Z called on Ellison to prosecute the men responsible for the tragic death.
"After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what's right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case," he wrote. "Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me -- a dad and a black man in pain. Yet, I am a human, a father and a black man in pain, and I am not the only one."
JAY-Z said that he and an "entire country in pain" are calling on Ellison "to do the right thing" and to prosecute those culpable "to the fullest extent of the law."
"This is just a first step," he continued. "I am 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 addressed his conversation with JAY-Z during a press conference on Sunday, where he explained that the call was a testament to how universal and important the fight against injustice is.
"I received a call last night -- to understand how big this was -- from JAY-Z. Not international performer but dad, stressing to me that justice needs to be served," the governor explained. "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. His words summarized that justice needs to be served here."
"He knows the world is watching, and how Minnesota handles this is going to have an impact across the country," Walz added. "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."
JAY-Z's conversation with the governor comes after several days of protests across multiple major American cities, sparked by Floyd's death, which resulted after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than seven minutes.
Four officers were fired on Tuesday for their roles in the incident, and Derek Chauvin -- who was videotaped holding Floyd down by the neck with his knee -- was taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Friday, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington stated, per CBS News.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter, was replaced as leading prosecutor on the case by Ellison, after an outcry from many in Minneapolis who questioned why it took several days for Chauvin to be arrested.