JAY-Z and Roc Nation’s philanthropic branch, Team ROC, has come to the aid of a Wisconsin man who was wrongfully and violently arrested while holding his one-year-old child.
Kenosha Police said earlier in August that they’d launched an internal investigation into the violent arrest of Jermelle English Jr., who was wrongfully detained after cops suspected him of fleeing a car crash.
The disturbing arrest was caught on cell phone video inside an Applebee’s restaurant in July, and showed several officers grabbing and pushing English as he sat on the restaurant floor cradling his infant and insisting he did nothing wrong.
After the baby was removed, cops wrestled English to the ground, with one appearing to punch him repeatedly. Despite police knowing they’d nabbed the wrong man, he was still charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
According to TMZ, Hov’s Team ROC has enlisted their high-powered lawyer Alex Spiro Jr. to represent English in his fight for justice.
“The reckless arrest of Jermelle English Jr. and the careless endangerment of his infant child by the Kenosha Police Department is an absolute travesty,” said Team ROC Managing Director Dania Diaz.
“The Team ROC team is here to support Jermelle and his family through this traumatic experience, demand justice and hold the Kenosha police officers accountable.”
This is far from the first time that JAY-Z aand Team ROC has offered legal assistance to victims of police brutality. Back in 2019, the organization offered its services to 22-year-old Dravon Ames, his six-month pregnant fianceé Iesha Harper and their two daughters after they had guns drawn on them by Phoenix police. Cops were responding to an alleged shoplifting incident at Family Dollar.
Team ROC, along with Yo Gotti, also filed multiple suits against Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Farm prison in 2021, citing the facility’s high death toll and rampant neglect of inmates’ basic human needs.
Roc Nation’s social justice division finally started to see some results last April, when they secured legal representation for over 200 inmates housed at Parchman.
As Billboard reported at the time, the multiple suits caught the attention of the U.S. Justice Department, which was obligated to investigate inhumane conditions at the penitentiary.
Those investigations reportedly led to improved conditions within the prison, enough so that Team ROC dropped its suit against the maximum security prison after seeing the changes for themselves.
According to NBC News, the changes included “two functioning ambulances at the prison’s medical center, replacing an outdated van; new stainless-steel showers, toilets and sinks; upgraded heating, air conditioning, ventilation and plumbing systems,” and “recreational activities, such as basketball, flag football and boxing.”
JAY-Z and Yo Gotti’s legal battle was later turned into an A&E docuseries titled Exposing Parchman, which premiered earlier this summer.