Jay-Z Pays Bond For Protesting Mum Of 17-Year-Old Fatally Shot By Police
Jay-Z has posted bond for the mother of Alvin Cole, a 17-year-old boy fatally shot by police in Wisconsin.
The Blueprint rapper along with Team Roc, the social justice division of entertainment firm Roc Nation, paid the bonds and covered the fines for dozens of protesters arrested on Thursday, October 8, after it was announced Officer Joseph Mensah wouldn’t be criminally charged for the teenager’s death.
Cole’s mother Tracy was among those ferried away by law enforcement, reportedly injured as a result of ‘excessive force’. The artist paid ‘an undisclosed amount in court fees’ for the mum and her daughters Taleavia, Tristiana and Tahuda, alongside several others.
Cole was shot and killed on February 2 this year, after police responded to a disturbance call outside a Wauwatosa mall. In his report, Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm said Cole had stolen a 9mm pistol, ‘ran from the police, discharged the firearm and was ordered to surrender the weapon,’ CNN reports.
After allegedly refusing to surrender the gun, Mensah opened fire after three minutes of pursuit, killing the teen.
Dania Diaz, executive director for Team Roc, said in a statement to the NME: ‘Our hearts break for the family of Alvin Cole and the Wauwatosa community.’
She added: ‘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.’
In July, Jay-Z also wrote an open letter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, calling for Mensah to be prosecuted for the deaths of Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson.
His letter read:
His actions demonstrate an utter disregard for the lives of these young men. What is also egregious is that the department’s failure to mandate body cameras has enabled these tragic instances. The failure to preserve video evidence has impeded multiple investigations.
As a result, we are calling for your office to prosecute Mensah to ensure that he never kills anyone again and to immediately outfit all of your police officers with body cameras.
However, Chisolm noted there was ‘sufficient evidence’ that Mensah had ‘subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable’, therefore he could not ‘meet the burden required to charge Officer Mensah’, as per CBS News.
Pending the decision of the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission, Mensah remains on administrative suspension at the time of writing.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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