Diese Woche hielten Jay-Z und das New Yorker Film Studio „The Weinstein Company“ eine Pressekonferenz über ihre neue, bald erscheinende Serie über Kalief Browder. Browder war ein junger schwarzer New Yorker, der wegen eines Taschendiebstahls für drei Jahre ins Gefängnis gehen musste. Nach seiner Inhaftierung auf Rivers Island, nahm sich der damals 22-Jährige sein Leben. Die Art und Weise, wie sein Fall vor Gericht bestraft wurde und die Tatsache, dass es sich um einen schwarzen Jugendlichen aus der Bronx handelt, sorgte dafür, dass sein Fall als negativ Beispiel für die schlechte juristische Arbeit in New York durch die Medien kursierte.
Jay-Z, der auf den Fall des jungen Mannes aufmerksam wurde, dreht nun eine dokumentarische Serie über ihn. Auf der dazugehörigen Pressekonferenz positionierte er sich klar.
“I look at Kalief Browder as a modern day prophet. Our prophets come in many different shapes, forms, or mediums. This young man just by the fact that he brought all of us here today lets you know how powerful of a soul he was. I came across his story in The New Yorker and I called Chaka Pilgrim, who has worked with me forever. She’s sitting here today. I said, “I need to meet this young man, can you find him?” I was thinking that it would take a while and my phone kept ringing. I didn’t answer because sometimes I don’t answer her call [laughs]. She kept calling so I knew it was important. I was like okay, you’re not going to believe this. She was at another event and she ran across his lawyer who was helping him out, he’s a brilliant young man who was helping Kalief seek justice. It was meant to happen. Kalief came to the office and we met and I wanted to give him words of encouragement, that I saw his story, and that I’m proud of him for making it through, and to keep pushing. He told me that he was going to college. This story, in the movies it would’ve ended differently. 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. Shortly after things start happening, Obama starts talking about a crime bill and eliminating solitary confinement for minors. I know that was Kalief. All of these things start happening and we came across these fabulous filmmakers and everything started happening the way it should have been. I knew right there that he was a prophet. Some of my prophets go in tragedy, Martin Luther King ends tragically but what comes from it, the life and the next iteration and the lives saved and how this man has moved culture forward is incredible. And I think you [to Venida Browder, mother of Kalief] should be and you are incredibly proud of your son and what he has accomplished, I know it’s difficult to you and your family to not have him and not be able to speak to him but he’s here. He’s here today and he’s done more in 19 years than what a lot of us will do in a lifetime, so on that note, I would like to thank you for bringing us Kalief’s energy in this world.”
Wann die Serie erscheint, ist noch nicht bekannt. Zuletzt nahm Jigga zu der amerikanischen Drogenpolitik Stellung.