Jay-Z’s philanthropic arm, Team ROC, is assisting a Wisconsin man, Jermelle English Jr., who was wrongly and violently arrested while holding his one-year-old child. Kenosha Police initiated an internal investigation into the incident, suspecting him of fleeing a car crash. Team ROC is providing support in this case.
In July, the troubling incident occurred at an Applebee’s restaurant where multiple officers were captured on cell phone video arresting English. The video depicted the officers forcefully manhandling him while he sat on the restaurant floor, holding his infant, and maintaining his innocence.
Following the removal of the baby, the police forcibly restrained English on the ground, with one officer seemingly repeatedly punching him. Surprisingly, even though the police realized they had apprehended the wrong person, English was still charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Team ROC, headed by Jay-Z, has enlisted lawyer Alex Spiro Jr. to represent English in his quest for justice. Team ROC’s Managing Director, Dania Diaz, strongly condemned the Kenosha Police Department’s reckless arrest of English and the endangerment of his infant child as a tragic incident. Team ROC’s goal is to seek justice and ensure accountability for the actions of the Kenosha police officers involved.
Jay-Z and Team ROC have a history of providing legal assistance to victims of police brutality. In 2019, they offered their support to Dravon Ames, his pregnant fiancée Iesha Harper, and their two daughters, who had guns drawn on them by Phoenix police during an incident related to alleged shoplifting at Family Dollar, according to hip hop dx.
In 2021, Team ROC, in collaboration with Yo Gotti, filed several lawsuits against Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Farm prison. These legal actions were prompted by the facility’s high death rate and severe neglect of the basic human needs of inmates.
Roc Nation’s social justice division achieved progress in April when it provided legal representation to more than 200 inmates in Parchman prison. This initiative garnered attention from the U.S. Justice Department, which felt compelled to investigate the inhumane conditions at the penitentiary following the multiple lawsuits.
The investigations into Parchman prison resulted in notable improvements, prompting Team ROC to withdraw their lawsuit against the facility. The changes included the addition of functional ambulances, modernized medical facilities, upgraded amenities like showers and heating systems, and the introduction of recreational activities such as basketball, flag football, and boxing for inmates.