The death of George Floyd has sparked nationwide outrage, and now Jay-Z is trying to use his influence to have an impact. Over the weekend, he got on the phone with Minnesota governor Tim Walz, and both parties came away from the conversation satisfied.
Walz spoke about the call in a press conference on Sunday, speaking highly of Jay-Z’s attention to the situation. He said:
“If we do not get to that systemic problem, eventually this will get us back to the problem that led to our communities on fire. 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. 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 said he feels the compassion and the humanity of these folks who are speaking. He knows the world is watching, and how Minnesota handles this is going to have an impact across the country. 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.”
Also on Sunday, Walz appointed state Attorney General Keith Ellison to take the lead on the Floyd case. After this news was made public, Jay-Z offered a statement through the Roc Nation social media pages, saying:
“After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what’s right and calling attorney general Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case. Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me — a dad and a black man in pain. Yes, I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, 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. This is just a first step. 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. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves.”
Dr. Dre also recently spoke out about Floyd, saying, “It felt like that cop had his knee on all of our necks.”