Seemingly taking the lead from Beyoncé’s recent call for more charges in the death of George Floyd, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz revealed in a press conference today that Jay-Z called him Sunday (after getting his number from CNN’s Van Jones) to demand justice in Floyd’s May 25 killing in Minneapolis at the hands of police. “It was so incredibly human,” Walz said, according to WCCO CBS Minneapolis. “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.”
“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 the governor. “He said he feels the compassion and the humanity of these folks who are speaking.” Continued Walz, “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.”
Protestors congregated for mass demonstrations in major cities across the country this weekend, including Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta, after video of George Floyd’s death spread on social media. With regard to the arrest of now-former Minnesota Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Walz said Sunday the he would like to see the three other officers involved in George Floyd’s fatal arrest charged in his murder. “If that would have been four civilians on another civilian?” said the governor. “We wouldn’t be having a debate at all whether that was murder.”
Update Sunday, May 31: Jay-Z followed up his call with an Instagram post praising Walz for having Minnesota’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, take over any prosecutions resulting from George Floyd’s demise.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”