Rapper JAY-Z and his associates at Team Roc have condemned the arrest of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protester in South Carolina, accusing police officials of singling him out for being African-American.
The 99 Problems star and his team were appalled by viral footage of Givionne Jordan, Jr.’s 31 May (20) arrest, because he didn’t appear to be breaking any laws. He can even be heard telling police officers that he loves and respects them as they move in to take him into custody.
Jordan Jr. was taken to jail and charged with “disobeying lawful order”. He was released on bail the following day and now faces a court date next week.
JAY-Z’s lawyer Jordan Siev sent a letter to Charleston, South Carolina city officials a day after the arrest condemning the actions of the police and urging the authorities to dismiss the charges against Jordan Jr. and reprimand the cops who arrested him.
“It has come to Roc Nation’s attention that in the course of retaliating against and attempting to control these protests, some of Charleston’s police have gone so far as to arrest nonviolent, non-threatening protesters solely on the basis of their constitutionally protected speech,” Siev wrote. “Here one sees a single protester, who does not threaten, provoke or even approach the dozens of armed police officers facing him, kneeling peacefully and expressing his well-justified grief, hauled away from his fellows and unceremoniously arrested by multiple officers. A more clear-cut violation of this protester’s First Amendment rights could hardly be imagined.”
But Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds is standing by his officers, telling the Post and Courier, “We specifically asked for them, numerous times, to disperse. We said if you don’t you will be arrested.”
JAY-Z’s latest fight for justice comes days after the rap star and his Roc Nation associates took out full-page newspaper ads dedicated to tragic George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police in Minnesota sparked the current wave of Black Lives Matter protests.