Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is offering a reported victim of police brutality legal assistance.
The incident, which took place on July 20, unfolded at an Applebee’s restaurant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jermelle English Jr. was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Jay-Z’s attorney Alex Spiro will now defend English against all of the charges.
Here’s What Happened
As reported by ABC WISN 12, cell phone footage captured the moment on July 20 when Kenosha police officers approached English inside the restaurant, accusing him of being a suspect in a car crash. Despite vehemently denying any involvement, police can be seen forcibly restraining him on the ground, all while he held his 1-year-old child.
Witnesses had informed the police that the hit-and-run incident involved two Black men and a woman carrying a child, heading toward a nearby Applebee’s. The officers believed English to be the suspect, and attempted to separate the baby from his grasp while subduing him on the ground. According to The Associated Press, the video appears to show one of the officers striking English.
Despite later realizing English and his family were not involved in the hit-and-run accident, Kenosha police still charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting and obstructing an officer. The woman who was with him received the exact same charges, along with possession of marijuana.
The actual culprits were later found and apprehended in the restaurant’s bathroom.
Kenosha police announced they have launched an internal investigation into the incident, but charges for English remain in place.
The video not only has sparked outrage in the local Black community, but nationwide.
In Steps Jay-Z
On Aug. 31, Jay-Z and the philanthropic and social justice arm of his company Roc Nation, Team ROC, have hired Spiro to assist English.
“The reckless arrest of Jermelle English Jr. and the careless endangerment of his infant child by the Kenosha Police Department is an absolute travesty. The Team ROC team is here to support Jermelle and his family through this traumatic experience, demand justice, and hold the Kenosha police officers accountable,” said Dania Diaz, managing director of Team ROC, in a statement.
Spiro will not only work on getting the charges dropped against English, but will also work to “evaluate civil suits against those responsible,” according to the announcement from Team ROC, Billboard reported.
Spiro’s impressive clientele includes well-known figures in the worlds of sports and entertainment, such as Aaron Hernandez, Chance the Rapper and Naomi Osaka.
As Finurah previously reported, Spiro assisted Jay-Z in a New York court ruling that favored the music mogul. This ruling resulted in Jay-Z being awarded nearly $7 million in back royalties from prominent luxury perfume company Parlux Fragrances.