Jay-Z’s Roc Nation offers legal support to Phoenix couple in $10m excessive force suit against the police

Francis Akhalbey June 17, 2019

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint may be widely known as a formidable entertainment company, however, another commendable impact the label is making that is worth mentioning is its social justice program. Early this year, the label threw support behind 21 Savage after they hired a legal team to assist him with his immigration battle with the ICE. Arrested and detained for nine days, the Atlanta based rapper was eventually able to gain his freedom after he was released on bond.

The philanthropic department of Roc Nation, Team Roc, also helped dismiss a case against an 11-year-old sixth grader, Jabari Talbot, who was arrested after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

To add to its growing list of pro bono cases, Team Roc has offered legal support for a Phoenix couple who are suing the city $10 million after police officers allegedly used excessive force when they were responding to a shoplifting incident on May 29.

AZCentral reports that Team Roc has hired the services of attorney Alex Spiro to assist the family’s legal team. Didier Morais, a PR spokesperson for Team Roc confirmed they will push for the dismissal of the officers, file against one of the officers on child neglect charges and also “ensure the well-being of the children.”

“There is no place for that behavior in our world – let alone our justice system – and we are calling for the immediate termination of the police officers in question,” Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting the family to ensure that justice is served.”

In the viral video that was shared on social media, police officers can be seen approaching Dravon Ames, 22, and his pregnant fiancée, 24-year-old Aisha Harper who are in the company of their two children after they were pulled over.

During the tense confrontation, one of the officers threatens to shoot Ames saying he’s going to “put a fucking cap” in his “fucking head”. They also go ahead to point guns at Harper and the children and aggressively attempt to take one of the children Harper is carrying after she refused to put the baby on the reportedly hot pavement.

In the aftermath of the incident, the couple allege the officers physically harmed Ames and their daughter, pointed a gun at the kids and threatened them, AZCentral reports.

“The situation shouldn’t have happened,” Harper told AZCentral. “It was very scary and it was all over a doll.”

The Phoenix police confirmed they have launched an investigation into the incident.

“The police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights under the fifth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution,” the couple’s notice of claim stated, according to the Phoenix New Times.

“The first officer grabbed the mother and the baby around both of their necks, and tried to take the baby out of the mother’s hand. He told her to put the baby on the ground, which she was unwilling to do because the baby could not walk, and the ground consisted of hot pavement,” it further stated.

“The first officer pulled the baby by the arm to get her away from the mother, which injured the arm, in a condition known as ‘dead arm.’ Island [the couple’s 1-year-old child] has been having nightmares and wetting her bed, which she has not done before this incident.”

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: June 12, 2020


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