Jay-Z is standing by protesters calling for justice in the February 2020 shooting death of Alvin Cole at the hands of police in Wisconsin.
Jay-Z and Team ROC, the social justice arm of the rapper’s ROC Nation company, offered Friday to pay the fees associated with the arrests of peaceful protesters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
The rapper has been vocal in calling for the criminal prosecution of police officer Joseph Mensah, who allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Cole on 2 February (20) outside a Wauwatosa mall when police responded to a disturbance call.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm announced his decision not to charge Mensah on Wednesday, insisting there was “sufficient evidence” that he believed deadly force was necessary and “that belief was objectively reasonable,” and locals quickly took to the streets in protest.
Cole’s mother and sisters were among 24 people arrested on Thursday (October 08), two of whom asked for medical attention, Wauwatosa police officials confirmed in a news release.
In a statement, Dania Diaz, director of Team Roc – the social justice arm of Roc Nation, which Jay-Z founded – said, “Our hearts break for the family of Alvin Cole and the Wauwatosa community.”
“Not only did the District Attorney’s Office fail to hold Officer Joseph Mensah accountable for killing Alvin, but the local police also arrested and injured Alvin’s mother Tracy and his sisters as they peacefully protested alongside Jacob Blake’s father.”
Jacob Blake was shot by police in the state in August (20) and is paralyzed from the waist down.
In addition to offering financial support, the “Empire State of Mind” hitmaker is also calling on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting.
On February 2, Cole was shot outside of Mayfair Mall. According to a report by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, Officer Joseph Mensah, also Black, responded to a call of a person seen with a gun at the mall. During a chase, Cole allegedly pointed a gun at Mensah who then shot the 17-year-old.
And people wonder why we say ‘Black Lives Matters.’