If Clark Kent had a real-life alter ego, it might be Jay-Z.
The 49-year-old billionaire has been using his immense fortune and influence to save artists like Lil Wayne from the IRS, to pour $50 million into criminal justice reform and to otherwise balance the scales for people of color who have faced prejudice or adversity in Trump’s America.
To that end, after learning about a family that is suing the city of Phoenix for $10 million dollars after accusing the police of using excessive force, Jay-Z and his Roc Nation conglomerate have stepped in to render legal aid.
From AZ Central:
A philanthropic arm of Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation has offered to provide legal support for a Phoenix couple that accused police of using excessive force and threatening to shoot them in an incident caught on video.
Team ROC has reached out to the family to provide legal support, call for termination of the police officers and “ensure the well-being of the children,” said Didier Morais, a PR spokesperson for the organization.
Team ROC has secured high-profile attorney Alex Spiro to join the family’s legal team pro-bono and plans on filing against one of the officers for child neglect, Morais said.
“There is no place for that behavior in our world—let alone our justice system—and we are calling for the immediate termination of the police officers in question,” Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting the family to ensure that justice is served.”
She went on to call the incident “absolutely sickening.”
Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, Aisha Harper, filed a notice of claim on Thursday accusing Phoenix police officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest and infliction of emotional distress in a disturbing encounter in which police threatened to shoot their family and inflicted bodily harm on Armes and their 1-year-old daughter.
In order to settle the case, the family’s lawyer, former Attorney General Tom Horne, has requested $2.5 million per family member for a sum of $10 million.
In the aftermath of the incident, both Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams have offered apologies.
“I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community,” Gallego wrote on Twitter. “This is not who we are, and I refuse to allow this type of behavior to go unchallenged.”
On Sunday, Williams offered her own apology during an interview on Phoenix TV station KTVK.
“I am disappointed. I’m sorry, and I apologize to the family,” Williams told Arizona’s Family. “I apologize to the community. I apologize to the public because this is not the type of behavior you should see from a Phoenix police officer. Period.”
The Phoenix Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau confirms that an investigation is underway, but citizens of Phoenix are taking matters into their own hands.
A protest is scheduled on June 19 during an upcoming council meeting at City Hall.