Jay-Z’s Team Roc Urges DOJ to Investigate Kansas City Police Department

Jay-Z’s Team Roc has penned a letter to the Justice Department urging an investigation into the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.

via: NBC News

Team ROC, the social justice arm of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z’s entertainment company, is amplifying community demands that the Justice Department investigate the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, writing in an open letter Tuesday that “there is no excuse to justify the DOJ’s silence.”

Team Roc, joined by the nonprofit Midwest Innocence Project, said there is enough evidence of systemic police misconduct in the department that a “pattern or practice” investigation is necessary to review allegations of wrongdoing and discrimination.

“The DOJ’s continued inaction tells targeted minority communities held hostage to the whims of the carceral state that justice does not exist for them, that their lives do not matter,” says the letter, which is addressed to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.

Team Roc lawyer Alex Spiro said allegations of corruption and civil rights violations against police over the decades are not isolated.

The incidents include the case of a former Kansas City detective who was the subject of a federal investigation last year after he was accused of exploiting Black women for sex and framing people for crimes they say they did not commit.

In addition, FBI records dating to the 1990s and made public in recent months highlight that federal investigators found numerous allegations of civil rights violations and that about 200 Kansas City police officers were accused of misconduct and excessive force complaints over the years.

The recent news reports about the department “kept hitting our desk over and over again,” Spiro said last week, “and we knew we had to get involved.”

Team Roc sued the police department in September to obtain additional records to “help ascertain the scope of the misconduct and evaluate the adequacy of the [department’s] training and supervision.” The group then took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post calling for an investigation, and Spiro wrote to the Justice Department last month alleging that a “blue wall of silence” has allowed the misconduct to fester.

A video uploaded by Roc Nation on Tuesday, shown above, highlights specific news stories stemming from Kansas City over the years, including those following alleged rapes and sexual assaults.

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