Iowa’s governor joined the police chief of Des Moines and a capital city pastor this morning for the unveiling of a local rapper’s anti-crime video.
“My name is Will Keeps and today is something special,” Keeps said to open the event, pausing as he was overcome with emotion. “…I did a video called ‘Droppin’ and it’s about what’s going on in our city, not just our city but a lot of cities, of all the killing that’s going on.”
There have been 18 homicides in Des Moines so far this year. Governor Kim Reynolds, who volunteered to be part of the video, saw it for the first time today.
“My heart is racing,” Reynolds said. “…It’s moving. It’s factual and it’s what we’re facing and it’s what we have to do as a community. This is not political. This is not partisan. This is about Iowans, stepping up, coming together and doing the right thing.”
Keeps told reporters he hopes the video motivates kids to choose “home” and “school” and “great jobs” rather than a life of crime on the streets.
“I’m done with our streets creating their own laws. I’m done with innocent kids, innocent anybody, getting killed,” Keeps said. “I’m done with people getting killed, period.”
The rapper, who is from Chicago but has lived in Des Moines for years, has partnered with Des Moines police before to produce a hip-hop video with a message targeted to young people.
“I don’t want to sit on my couch and see other people die and I do nothing,” Keeps said.
Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert hosted the video premiere on the steps of police headquarters.
AUDIO of event, 36:00
Witnesses to several recent shootings in the capitol city are reluctant or refusing to help investigators.
“By communities and citizens setting up and working collectively with their police department, we can make this the best place in the country,” Wingert said, “which I think it is already.”
The video features a girl who comes forward as a witness, saying she’s not snitching, but “getting justice.”