Beyoncé and Jay-Z demand justice for George Floyd

Jay-Z reached out to Minnesota governor Tim Walz on Sunday.
Published June 1, 2020 12:02 p.m. EST
Last Updated June 4, 2020 12:00 a.m. EST
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Jay-Z and Beyoncé are using their platforms to call for justice in the murder of Minneapolis man George Floyd. On May 25, four police officers arrested Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Security footage and videos taken by civilians show arresting officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life and died shortly after. Protests have taken place across the U.S. and beyond this past weekend in response to the senseless death of Floyd and other Black people. Many celebrities have spoken out against Floyd’s murder including Jay-Z and Beyoncé.On Saturday, Beyoncé shared a video on her Instagram and encouraged her fans to not look away and instead confront the reality that people of colour continue to be seen as ‘less than human.’ “We cannot normalize this pain. I'm not only speaking to people of color. If you're white, black, brown and anything in between, I'm sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now," said Beyoncé. “George is all of our family and humanity. He is our family because he is a fellow American."[video_embed id='1969261']Jay-Z and Beyoncé show their support for George Floyd[/video_embed]Beyoncé has updated her website to include links to petitions and organizations dedicated to achieving justice for Floyd and helping to end systemic racism, including Change.Org, the NAACP and Color of Change.
On Sunday, Jay-Z called Minnesota governor Tim Walz to discuss the protests and the charges against Chauvin, which were only filed on Friday. Walz spoke to local Minneapolis CBS news station WCCO and revealed some of what was said during his conversation with Jay-Z.“It was so incredibly human,” said Walz. “It wasn’t Jay-Z, international celebrity. It was a dad and, I think quite honestly, a black man whose visceral pain of this that he knew.”Walz did not go into specifics about what was discussed but made it clear that like millions around the world, Jay-Z wants to see justice served for Floyd and other innocent Black people. “His words to me, I want them to be confidential, but to summarize what it was: ‘Justice needs to be served, here. Justice needs to be served,” said Walz. “He said he feels the compassion and the humanity of these folks who are speaking. He knows that the world is watching. How Minnesota handles this is going to have an impact across the country, and I think that’s what his impressions were.”On Sunday evening, Walz announced that former congressman and Democratic National Committee chair nominee Keith Ellison would be taking over Floyd’s case. Ellison has said that he is focused on ensuring that justice is served and has been hesitant to press charges on the other three officers that were present during Floyd’s death, but notes that he expect charges to be laid ‘soon.’ "I need to protect this prosecution,” Ellis told CNN on Sunday. “I am not going to create a situation where people can say this was a rush to judgment." Following Ellison’s appointment, Jay-Z posted a message on the Roc Nation Instagram account and thanked Governor Walz for his decision to change the prosecuting attorney in Floyd’s case.“After our very earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what’s right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case,” wrote Jay-Z. “Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me — a dad and a black man in pain. Yes, I am a human, a father and a black man in pain, and I am not the only one.”
 
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