Jay Z has spoken out in support of a plan put forward by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to improve police-community relations following two fatal incidents that has caused tension in the city to rise.
As reported by The Associated Press, Cuomo outlined the package in his State of the State address on Wednesday (January 21). The plan includes the establishment of a state-wide commission on police-community relations, the recruitment of more minorities into the police, and the appointment of an independent body to review cases in which a civilian dies at the hands of police and a grand jury doesn’t come back with an indictment.
In a statement shared by Capitol Confidential, Jay, a native Brooklynite, spoke in favour of the plan: “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,” he said.
“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.”
The death of African American Eric Garner in July and subsequent decision of a grand jury not to indict an officer involved in the incident has sparked a wave of protests in New York against police misconduct. In December, a gunman fatally shot two police officers as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The man had stated online that he planned to kill officers because of the deaths of Garner and teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.