Jay Z Believes Compassion Is the Answer to Stopping Police Brutality
Jay Z is making sure Black voices, big and small, are heard in the media and in doing so, he hopes it'll build a better relationship between Black people and the police. While announcing his upcoming mini series with Spike TV about Kalief Browder today (Oct. 6), Jay took time to answer a few questions about his personal stance on police brutality and the criminal justice system.
When Jay was asked by a CNN reporter what he thinks is the key to mending the relationship between Black people and police in this country, Hov asserted that "compassion" is the key.
"When you have compassion for what someone goes through—we’re all looking for a short embrace at time," explained the 46-year-old. "Judgment is the enemy of compassion. When you are able to identify that…we’re all not perfect, we may make mistakes. All of us, every single one of us. When you have compassion for what someone’s going through and their plight, my personal belief, having the camera on someone creates more distrust. When we have an exchange and it has to be recorded, something’s wrong there, something’s broken. A camera can’t fix a relationship between a person that’s hired to protect and serve a society. There has to be a relationship. There has to be respect on both sides."
Jay Z has been one of hip-hop's strongest voices in the fight against police brutality in America. Jay's Tidal streaming service has donated $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and Jay and his wife Beyoncé have personally donated to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In July, Hov dropped the track "Spiritual" to mourn the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two more Black men killed by police this past summer.
During the event, Jay also told the story of meeting Kalief for the first time after reading a New Yorker article about him. A short while later, Chaka Pilgrim, the President of Roc Nation, told Jay that Kalief had committed suicide at his Bronx home.
"I got a call from Chaka and she told me that he had taken his own life. I was thrown of course. I was asking myself, this story doesn't end like this, it's not supposed to end this way. That's not how the story goes. Not in the movies, not in real life," said the rap mogul.
Jay went on to say he promised himself he'd tell Kalief's story. Executive produced by Jigga man himself, the six-part mini series based on Kalief's life will be called TIME: The Kalief Browder Story and is expected to premiere on Spike this coming January.
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