Well-known rapper Jay-Z has paid the bail and citation fees for protesters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, who were arrested while demonstrating for justice in death of Alvin Cole, a 17-year-old black teenager shot and killed by police in February.
What are the details?
Jay-Z and Team ROC, the social justice arm of his organization ROC Nation, announced in a press release Friday that they posted bond and covered additional fees for the arrested individuals, who included Cole’s mother and his three sisters, according to CBS News.
Violent riots broke out in the city last week after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced that no charges would be brought against Joseph Mensah, the black Wisconsin police officer involved in the Feb. 2 shooting.
On Thursday, the Wauwatosa Police Department announced that several protesters were arrested for being in violation of the city’s curfew.
In the press release Friday, Team ROC blasted the arrests and called on Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to appoint a special prosecutor.
“Our hearts break for the family of Alvin Cole and the Wauwatosa community,” Team ROC director Dania Diaz said, according to WISN-TV. “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. We will continue to stand with these families and support the peaceful protestors as we collectively fight for the legacies of Alvin Cole, Jay Anderson and Anthony Gonzales, who all died at the hands of Mensah.”
Team ROC had been reportedly following the case for months and even paid for a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in July, which called for Mensah’s immediate prosecution and termination.
In a 14-page letter explaining his reasoning for not bringing charges, Chisolm said that evidence showed Cole fled from police carrying a stolen handgun, which he refused to turn over and at one point fired.
“He did not surrender the weapon and was fired upon by Officer Mensah causing his death,” Chisholm wrote, according to the Associated Press. “[There] is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable.”
Mensah was reportedly the subject of an attack by Black Lives Matter protesters in August when a group of at least 50 individuals vandalized his girlfriend’s home and physically assaulted him.
In a post on Facebook following the incident, Mensah claimed that he and his girlfriend were “assaulted, punched, and ultimately shot at several times.”
“A shotgun round missed me by inches,” he added.