Members of the Bronx Defenders, a group of taxpayer-funded public defenders that work in the New York borough, were featured in a rap video that advocated the killing of NYPD officers. The NYC Department of Investigation announced news Thursday of the video from Brooklyn’s Uncle Murda and Maino for the track “Hands Up.”
Gothamist reported on the DOI’s findings that Bronx Defenders not only appeared in the video, but also allowed filming in the organization’s offices. The DOI was able to secure email correspondence from Bronx Defenders lawyer Ryan Napoli, who said he loved the song. The other lawyer, Kumar Rao, claimed he didn’t know the context of how the footage would be used and said they had no idea that Uncle Murda and Maino were pointing guns depicting an execution of an officer.
The DOI report was sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who issued a statement:
The Department of Investigation’s findings are deeply disturbing. Any endorsement of violence against police officers is completely unacceptable and will absolutely not be tolerated. Keeping New York the safest big city in the country requires that we are vigilant about the security of the nation’s finest police force and the communities they are sworn to protect.
The Bronx Defenders website opens up with a message to readers condemning the acts of Napoli and Rao, stating that it “abhors the use of violence against the police under any circumstance.”
Fans of Uncle Murda know that the MC has not been shy of his disdain for the NYPD in past songs.
The “Hands Up” video is can be seen below.