NEW YORK — Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons had some choice words about Mayor Bill de Blasio during an appearance on “Ebro in the Morning” on Hot 97.
In the interview, Russell talks about his frustration with the Mayor’s inability to effectively curb police brutality, especially when it comes to African American lives. “Our police commissioner is bullying our punk mayor that we worked so hard to put in office,” Simmons said.
[The Mayor] “knows his kids are at risk. He knows that if a cop shoots his kid and there is no footage, that cop is not getting charged. And that’s because there are no special prosecutors. There should be independent prosecutors who don’t work for the police who have to look at these cases individually.”
When asked how the special prosecutors would be chosen, Simmons followed up by saying that “the Governor could appoint one tomorrow. He has the legal right.”
“Governor Cuomo said if I can’t change the law, if there is no legislation that brings in special prosecutors to oversee police, then I will appoint one. And that was Governor Cuomo’s promise not only to me but to the people of New York State. And he has not done it. And Mayor de Blasio has not said a word because he’s a punk.”
Simmons also criticized the Mayor for not responding to the police in-uniform protest of a slain police officer.
Mayor De Blasio’s spokesperson Karen Hinton gave this statement to Capital New York:
“The facts are contrary to Mr. Simmons’ remarks. At Mayor de Blasio’s direction, Commissioner Bratton has retrained officers and stopped excessive stop and frisk which the Mayor believes led to unconstitutional searches of innocent people of color but did nothing to reduce crime overall.”
“We also welcome and encourage Mr. Simmons’ help with convincing Albany and the Governor’s Office to reform rental regulations by ending vacancy decontrol and developer bonuses, as well as the exorbitant tax credits that developers get without building any affordable housing,” she said.
“These reforms would go a long way toward helping people of color find and keep homes they can afford.”