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Tyrann Mathieu says he knew 'coward' charged with killing Will Smith

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tyrann Mathieu is a proud ambassador of New Orleans, but Will Smith's tragic death has caused the Arizona Cardinals defensive back to speak out about violence in his hometown and the man charged with killing the former Saints star.

Smith was fatally shot Saturday evening after a car accident in an apparent road rage incident.

Cardell Hayes was charged with second-degree murder in Smith's death. Hayes is a former high school football star in New Orleans, and Mathieu said he knew him.

Mathieu also said in a series of tweets that a lack of political support for recreational and educational programs is contributing directly to the city's crime rate.

The 23-year-old Mathieu was dismissed from LSU's program after multiple failed drug tests for marijuana, but has been a model citizen since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2013.

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