Jay Z Meets With Gov. Cuomo To Discuss Criminal Justice Reform

In the wake of the recent wave of police killings, including the Staten Island choking death of the unarmed Eric Garner, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is at least publicly looking into the idea of changing a few criminal justice laws. To that end, he’s met with, among others, Jay Z, one of his most prominent constituents. Billboard reports that Cuomo and Jay met yesterday in Manhattan. According to Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa, the two had “productive conversation about doing a top-to-bottom review of the criminal-justice system, and how we can all work together to pass a reform package that ensures equality in the eyes of the law.”

Jay has been publicly calling for a special prosecutor to look into the Garner case, so the meeting itself counts as some kind of victory. (Without publicizing it, Jay has also been paying tuition for the kids of Sean Bell, another unarmed New Yorker killed by police in 2006.) Naturally, the New York Post has been trying to turn Cuomo’s meeting with Jay into grist for controversy, citing Jay’s drug-dealing past and quoting New York Republican spokesman David Laska: “Given Jay Z’s history with the law, he’s as serous a source on police policy as Vladimir Putin is on freedom of speech. That kind of a photo-opportunity policy from the governor is the opposite of leadership.”