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Cameo in Uncle Murda Video Forces Public Defenders to Resign

Lawyers criticized for appearing in an Eric Garner tribute criticized for promoting cop killing.

Two public defenders from a New York City non-profit resigned this week amid backlash for appearing in an Uncle Murda music video, the Village Voice reports. Kumar Rao and Ryan Napoli, formerly of the Bronx Defenders, faced criticism that Murda’s Eric Garner tribute video “Hands Up,” promotes cop killing.

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Napoli and Rao’s resignations were announced by the New York City mayor’s office Wednesday (Feb. 4), according to the New York Times

A “heartbroken” Rao stated in his resignation letter that employment with the Bronx Defenders was “no longer in the best interest of the organization.”

Murda’s music video, which features Maino, was released last year. It begins with various clips of police brutality, and transitions into a scene with both rappers pointing guns at a cop character.

The Bronx Defenders expressed "regret" for involvement in the video, and had no prior knowledge of the full content "before it went online," the organization said in a statement denouncing the violence.

"The Bronx Defenders abhors the use of violence against the police under any circumstance. We have always been an organization that is committed to preserving life, dignity and respect for all people." 

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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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