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Rappers urge governor to reform justice system

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Dec 10, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-05 21:49:25-05

Hip-hop titans Russell Simmons and Jay-Z are pressing New York's governor for changes to the criminal justice system amid protests over the killings of unarmed black people by white police officers who weren't indicted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Jay-Z on Wednesday for what the governor's office describes as "a productive conversation" about reviewing and reforming the system.

Simmons says Cuomo has pledged to order that special prosecutors handle cases alleging police brutality. A Cuomo spokeswoman characterizes the men's conversation as discussing special prosecutors among a range of potential options.

Simmons also talked Tuesday with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Rapper Common joined Simmons and activists Wednesday outside City Hall to demand changes to policing and prosecution.

Cuomo and de Blasio aides say they're committed to working on reforms.