JAY-Z, through his social justice organization Team ROC is tirelessly fighting against injustice. This week, the rap mogul paid the court fees for a handful of protesters who were arrested in Wisconsin following the announcement that no charges would be brought against the officer who killed 17-year-old Alvin Cole.
17-year-old Alvin Cole was shot and killed by police in February of this year in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. It marked the third man of color (Cole, Antonio Gonzales, and Jay Anderson) shot and killed by Officer Joseph Mensah during police stops within a five-year span. On October 8, Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm announced that he declined to charge Mensah for recklessly shooting and killing Cole.
The decision sparked protests, and Cole’s mother, Tracy was jailed alongside multiple other protesters who peacefully took to the streets on Thursday night in Wauwatosa.
As reported by CBS News, Hov and Team ROC paid an unknown amount in court fees for Tracy and her daughters Taleavia, Tristiana, and Tahudah, as well as several other protesters to be released from jail. Tracy was also said to have been injured when officers used “excessive force” while arresting demonstrators.
JAY-Z and Team ROC have offered their support by paying for the bail bonds and citation fees for anyone that was arrested and fined for peacefully protesting the injustice in Wauwatosa. Additionally, they are also calling for Wisconsin Governor Evers to tap a special prosecutor to re-examine the investigation.
JAY-Z has been monitoring the situation in Wisconsin for months and in July he penned an open letter in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calling for police in the Wisconsin capital of Milwaukee to prosecute Mensah.
“His actions demonstrate an utter disregard for the lives of these young men,” the letter read. “The law demands that each shot fired from a police officer’s gun is carefully and thoroughly scrutinized. Nineteen shots and three deaths in five years are not a pattern of accidents."