Bronx Public Defenders Resign After Appearing In Uncle Murda Music Video

Bronx Public Defenders Resign After Appearing In Uncle Murda Music Video

Two Bronx Defenders appeared in Uncle Murda’s “Hands Up” video.

Two lawyers appeared in the music video for Uncle Murda’s “Hands Up” in New York City and now the non-profit firm they worked for, Bronx Defenders, faces scrutiny, according to the Village Voice.

“At least one attorney who appeared in a controversial rap video has resigned from his position with the Bronx Defenders, a legal nonprofit that represents indigent clients in New York City,” the Village Voice reports. “Kumar Rao submitted a letter of resignation this afternoon, according to his attorney. Meanwhile, NY1 reporter Dean Meminger has reported on Twitter that another attorney who was involved with and appeared in the video, Ryan Napoli, likewise resigned from the group. NY1 also reports that the organization’s executive director, Robin Steinberg, has been suspended for 60 days without pay.”

Released in the wake of the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, the video for “Hands Up” depicts scenes of violence toward the NYPD.

“I spit that shit the streets got to feel,” Uncle Murda raps on the track. “For Mike Brown and Sean Bell, a cop got to get killed / Cause I’m Black, police think they got the right to shoot me / No jail for them, their punishment is desk duty / They’re either killing us or throwing us in the cage / Martin Luther King is rolling over in his grave / (What happened to the dream?) Time to start killing these coppers / If Malcolm X was alive, he’ll be next to me with them choppers.”

Kumar Rao had worked at the public defender’s office for more than six years. Investigators say that the non-profit failed to properly vet the content of the song. The song, viewed as a protest that advocates violence towards cops, did not fit with the Bronx Defenders’ priorities.

Uncle Murda was also involved in other controversy Shortly after the release of “Hands Up.” Uncle Murda was criticized for being allowed to film videos at an abandoned section of Nassau County Jail.

John Jaronczyk, president of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association, called for the person or persons responsible for approving the filming, which generated $570 in fees for the county, be fired, HopHopDX reported in December. ‘This is not a shooting of ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘ Jaronczyk said, according to the New York Daily News. ‘Whoever is responsible for this needs to be fired.’”