Team Roc, the social justice arm of Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation, has demanded the immediate dismissal of charges brought against a protester in Charleston.
Earlier this month, a video surfaced of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Charleston, South Carolina. In it, Givionne “Gee” Jordan Jr. can be seen addressing police officers with a plea for unity, until said officers approached the crowd and proceeded to pull him away and arrest him.
You can watch the video below:
please watch. please listen closely. if anyone has any information on this man / a link to his go fund me please let me know. this is absolutely not okay. we will not be silenced. pic.twitter.com/t2h6FovmoL
— (っ'-')╮ (@sweeeetdee_) June 1, 2020
Jordan Jr. was later released on $465 bail, but faces a charge of “disobeying lawful order.”
The day after his arrest, a lawyer from Jay-Z’s Team Roc sent a letter to the city of Charleston, calling for the charges to be dismissed and for the officers involved to be reprimanded.
“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,” wrote Team Roc lawyer, Jordan Siev. “A more clear-cut violation of this protester’s First Amendment rights could hardly be imagined.”
He added: “It is our understanding that this is not an isolated incident.”
According to Rolling Stone, the city of Charleston responded with a letter dated June 11, which Team Roc called “dismissive,” and which only talks in general terms about the protests, instead of addressing Jordan Jr.’s case.
Writing another letter to demand Jordan Jr.’s charges be dropped, Team Roc’s Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz wrote: “We are outraged by the Charleston police department’s reprehensible arrest of Givionne Jordan Jr. – not to mention their dismissive response to our concerns about their conduct.
“Giovionne’s arrest was unlawful and the Charleston police clearly violated his Constitutional right to peacefully protest. We applaud Givionne and demand that his charges are immediately dismissed.”
Charleston police chief Luther Reynolds has made a statement to TMZ, claiming that the arrest was due to a refusal to follow police orders.
“At the appropriate time,” Reynolds adds, “I will have the opportunity to make recommendations in these cases, and will be requesting that prosecutors exercise leniency, up to and including dismissal, as the circumstances warrant.”
Mass protests calling out racism have taken place across the US and all over the world since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.
Floyd, 46, was an African-American man, who was killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he lay on the ground during an arrest.
Yesterday, Jay-Z’s wife, Beyoncé wrote an open letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, an ER technician who was shot and killed by police officers in March.
Taylor was shot eight times by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers on March 13 after they entered her home with a no-knock warrant, which allowed the police to enter without warning or without identifying themselves as law enforcement.