Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, revealed on May 31 that he had received a call from JAY-Z regarding the killing of George Floyd on May 25. After the conversation, Walz called in the state’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, to handle the prosecutions related to George’s death going forward. On the evening of May 31, JAY-Z took to social media to break his silence on the phone call, and publicly call for justice to be served.
a statement from Jay-Z pic.twitter.com/VlgssraqgD
— Debating Hip-Hop (@DebatingHipHop_) June 1, 2020
So far, one police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in George’s death. However, many people, including JAY-Z, are calling for three other officers who were present at the scene of George’s killing (Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane) to also be prosecuted. JAY-Z referenced this request in his public statement.
“I, along with an entire country, 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,” Jay wrote. “This is just a first step. I am more determined than ever 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. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain. And look at yourselves.”
Video from George’s arrest shows Chauvin keeping his knee on the side of George’s neck as George screamed out, “I can’t breathe.” The criminal complaint revealed that Chauvin had his knee on George’s neck for nearly nine minutes. During the arrest, Officer Kueng reportedly held George’s back, while Lane held his legs and Thao looked on from nearby. The horrifying video has gone viral online.
Following George’s death, protests began in Minneapolis on May 26, and became more widespread throughout the week and over the weekend. Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Halsey, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and more have all taken part in protests in their respective cities. Meanwhile, stars like Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Beyonce, Justin Bieber and hundreds of others have expressed their outrage on social media, and are continuing to beg for change.