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Jay Z, Russell Simmons Meet With New York Governor Over Criminal Justice Reforms

Jay Z, Russell Simmons Meet With New York Governor Over Criminal Justice Reforms

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with Russell Simmons, Jay Z, and Common on Wednesday to discuss reforms in the criminal justice system, reports the Associated Press

The celebrity group reportedly called the meeting with Cuomo to advocate for changes in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers for the deaths of two black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. 

“We want to promote the end of police protecting police and not prosecuting police,” Simmons said outside of City Hall in New York City, after the meeting. 

Common followed Simmons with a statement, saying America “should be ashamed of itself” over the non-indictments, “We’re going to do everything it takes to change the system.” 

Cuomo pledged to have special prosecutors handle similar cases in the future, rather than local prosecutors who often work closely with police during investigations, Simmons told the crowd. 

Melissa DeRosa, a spokeswoman for Governor Cuomo said the meeting touched on “a range of options that could be included” in changes to the criminal justice system, and the governor would work to initiate them in the coming year. 

DeRosa also added that a conversation between Cuomo and Jay Z was productive, but offered no details.

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