Earlier today (June 18), Def Jam founder and hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons stopped by Hot 97′s Ebro in the Morning to discuss a bevy of issues, including yesterday’s grisly mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina. And while Simmons had plenty to say about that, he didn’t mince words for his hometown of New York. “There’s a few things that you can do, that are action-based,” he says of the attempts to curb police violence toward Black people. “One is to get special prosecutors, separate from the police department. That’s critical.” He goes on: “[Now] we have so many of these shootings on camera, but [police] have been getting away with murdering Black people forever. Our police commissioner is bullying our punk mayor–that we worked so hard to put in office–he knows his kids are at risk.” (New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who is white, is married to the Black poet and activist Chirlane McCray; the couple has two children.) “He knows that if a cop shoots his kid, and there is no footage, that cop is not getting charged.”
Simmons goes on to say that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised both New York voters and Simmons privately that he would appoint special prosecutors, but has failed to do so. “Look at what [officers who protested at an NYPD funeral] did to the mayor,” Simmons said. “They just made him into a–can y’all say ‘bitch’?” Earlier in the segment, the pillar of hip-hop culture expressed his despair about the racial disparities in America.