While police continue to sift through tips they've gotten about the killing of Jam Master Jay, some of the slain DJ's family members, friends and fans are expressing outrage about a recent report that theorized the killing of the Run-DMC member was retribution for a drug deal gone bad.
A report in the Sunday edition of the New York Post accused Curtis Scoon of successfully plotting to kill Jay because he harbored a grudge after he was "ripped-off" for $30,000 while trying to purchase two kilos of cocaine eight years ago.
"The assumptions that you read, every day it's a different one," Russell Simmons said Tuesday of the Post report. "What's being released through the press, talking about 10 years ago he might have been involved in drugs ... Jam Master Jay hated cocaine. He hated it. He had no reason to sell no drugs. Never! Them saying that is bad because he never was involved in no drug deal. It's sad because his legacy was better than that."
"It's an opportunist going after Jay," said Charles Fisher, founder and chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council. Fisher said he's been in close contact with the Mizell family, and last week, after receiving an anonymous donation, his organization put up a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jam Master Jay's killer.
"The family members are very hurt that someone would go after Jam Master Jay, that they would character assassinate him in the media and lynch him before they hear his side of the story. Of course a dead man can't talk," Fisher continued. "All media in general ...you should be very careful about printing accusations and innuendo when you can't describe the source where it came from. That's the bottom line. I know you have to protect your sources but we're trying to solve a murder here."
Police are continuing to comb the community for information about Jay's killing. Despite reports, they still have no suspects and say that when they do track down the person they think killed Jay, he wouldn't be publicly named until an arrest was made.
Fisher thinks his hotline is going to be of some assistance to the authorities.
"The tips have been going very well," Fisher said of the calls his organization has been getting. "The community trusts us and we have a direct involvement with the police department. People have been calling us and haven't even been worried about the money. They're saying, 'We're not leaving our names, we don't care about the money. We're not going to let people come into our community and let people continue to kill our brothers and sisters.' "
Simmons said the outpouring of support for the Mizell Foundation — an organization he's spearheading that is not only raising money for a separate reward, but financially aids the Mizell family — has been monumental as well.
"[Def Jam CEO] Lyor Cohen and I gave money, but the single biggest artist donor was LL Cool J," Simmons said. "LL Cool J gave $50,000, then Busta Rhymes gave $30,000. Then [we got] $10,000 from just about everybody. Kedar Massenburg, Kid Rock, Aerosmith, and the list goes on. Eminem, Dr. Dre, just so many people came forward. Then there's the issue of buying the [family] house and giving the kids a decent start for education. It was a beautiful thing. We just announced it and everybody brought their paper. Puffy, everybody came and contributed.
"Ms. Mizell is a very strong woman and a great mother," he added. "She was blessed with a little bit of paper and a lot of heart. I think she realizes she's got a lot of love in the community. People showed their love when they donated money."
Anyone with information can call the 103rd Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 657-8822 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. They can also contact the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council at (718) 264-9092.
The Mizell family has said donations can be made to the Mizell Children's Fund, c/o Terri Corley-Mizell, P.O. Box 3497, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
For full coverage of the Jam Master Jay case, see the Jam Master Jay Reports.