Miami Police Department 'inadvertently' depicts Jay-Z as gang member: Whoops!

miami-police-site-jay-zJay-Z has been called the best rapper alive, the ultimate hip-hop entrepreneur, and one of President Obama’s favorite musicians. Would you ever confuse him with a dangerous gang member? The real Jay-Z is nothing of the kind, of course. Yet that’s the impression you might have gotten if you visited the Miami Police Department‘s website yesterday, where a PSA banner included two obvious sketches of the renowned recording artist next to the headline “REPORT GANG ACTIVITY.”

This bizarre faux pas was first discovered by the Miami New Times, which even identified the specific Jay-Z publicity shots that were ripped off for the anti-gang display. (By my estimation, the photos date from at least eight or nine years ago, back when Jay was still wearing throwback jerseys and t-shirts instead of bespoke suits.) After being brought to light by the New Times, the entire image featuring the ersatz Jay-Zs was promptly removed from the police department’s website. So what on earth happened here?

“It was something that was inadvertently done,” the Miami Police Department’s Officer Kenia Reyes tells EW. “It was a mistake.” Reyes blamed the mix-up on the Miami PD’s computer department and declined to comment further.

A representative for Jay-Z had no comment on this story.

What do you think of the Miami Police Department’s odd mistake? Sound off in the comments.

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Comments (30 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    OH NO!!! Man – is LeBron gonna be maaaaaaddddd…. you can’t diss his boy like that! Bet he’s got a bum elbow after that ;)

  • The Jackal

    Oh well, he wants to pretend to be gangsta, now he is. Good publicity for him.

    • The Bob Loblaw Law Blog

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      • angelina

        i couldnt agree more hahahahahahahaha

      • Ally

        I mean he used to sell drugs but how does he pretend to be gangster?? Just by being a rapper?

    • O

      Your an idiot. How many actors pretend to be ganster? Reply when you get finished counting.

    • ultakid

      dude jay is sooo not trying to be gangster any more…he’s lived that life in ‘real’ life he’s not like these gucci mans and rick ross’s(wannabes).. jay wants to be looked at in a positive light now..

  • Will

    Latins in Miami never cease to amaze me with how racist they are

    • Hans M.

      Why are you assuming a Latin made the mistake, he-who-throws-stones-in-glass-houses?

  • Fabian

    He often raps about selling drugs but not gangs so they got him on that but really, who cares? It ain’t Obama.

    • barbara

      careful wt ur mouth FABIAN WHEN TALKN BOUT “OBAMA “. DONT get GOT. ” YES WE CAN.,” GOT HIS BACK. u feel me. ~DEUCES~

      • what??

        wtf are you saying? though i like the irony of the name “barbara”

  • Willy

    das racist

  • destiny

    great job

  • Will

    Why is it, other people can play parts in movies and sing about sex, drugs, killing, etc. in other types of music and not get sterotyped.

  • Andrew Rohland

    I saw that three weeks ago at my job. I was doing reseearch for potential clients which happened to be Florida police departments. When I pulled up Miami’s homepage, that’s the first thing I saw. I was extremely suprised so I told my boss. I knew the media would eventually find this.

  • Derek

    Umm…Simon, doesn’t Jay-Z brag about having sold hard drugs like crack cocaine in his pre-rapper days? Obviously this is a huge misstep on the part of the Miami PD but trying to defend Jay-Z as the complete opposite of a ‘dangerous gang member’ seems a bit specious.

  • Sue Ellen Mischke

    I’m pretty sure he is an ex-gang member…..

    • Will

      First of all Jay Z has never bragged about being in gang. Know you facts before you speak, many artist have rapped and made up things that none of them have done.

      Get out of your parents house one day and see the world

  • LadyJNewYork

    If Jay Z were “white” we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Aint no way that picture was put up there by “mistake”, I believe it was intentional. How come they didn’t put MM pic up there! Ah, he’s a white boy!! LOL

    • DeeCee

      This has nothing to do with white people. Your comment is racist. You obviously only posted your close minded racist remark to instigate. Who are you Al Sharpton?

  • Hans M.

    Plain, dumb ignorance fueled this mistake. Copyright was even infringed upon. Whoever did this should have been fired. But, living and working in Miami and knowing this lazy government, I doubt any of that will happen.

  • Will

    I moved to Miami about 4 years ago, and it amazing that how other people of color view African Americans.

    If you don’t think depicting someone who has accomplished what Jay Z has is disrespectful then you are exacting a big part of the problem in Miami.

  • Derek

    Will, I (nor anybody else replying here) ever said Jay-Z bragged about being in a gang, I said that he bragged (rapped) about dealing drugs. If you look at bios, Wikipedia pages, etc. they all seem to corroborate this. I’m also not defending the Miami PD – there probably was some race-related motive behind it and it was a stupid, boneheaded move on their part. All I’m saying is that I had a problem with the writer saying Jay-Z is ‘nothing of the kind’ (i.e. a gang member) when he in fact did, at one time deal drugs – which if I’m not mistaken is illegal in this country and is well-known to have ties to gang-related activity. He’s no angel, and he’d be the first person to tell you that.

    • Will

      Derek, I understand what you are saying but b/c someone sells drugs does not mean that person is in a gang. NO one is saying Jay Z has the past of an angel, but what I am saying is that it’s amazing how everyone somehow feels there is some kind of connection.

      It’s like saying if a kid wears baggy jeans he’s going to rob someone.

  • ms. Dynamite

    Who doesn’t know Jay Z. That’s a crock of mess!

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