Many know Jay-Z as an esteemed rapper, business mogul, and husband to Beyoncé. Yet he's also an advocate for criminal justice reform, fighting for social equity amongst marginalized groups.
One of Roc Nation's branches, Team Roc, has recently helped raise $1 million for the Wyandotte County, Kansas' Innocence Project, aiding in the investigation of wrongful conviction cases. Kansas City Star notes that the Innocence Project is currently dealing with upwards of 40 cases in the county.
Amongst those wrongfully convicted cases, the organization is working on helping Lamonte McIntyre, who spent 23 years in prison for two murders he did not commit. Executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project Tricia Rojo Bushnell said, "It’s a huge investment. The ability to look at these cases…is really going to continue to shine a light on what we need to do to actually provide a just criminal legal system in Wyandotte County."
Team Roc has also bought a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post to highlight the alleged corruption within the Kansas City justice system. Kansas City officers are accused of abusing their authority, fabricating witness statements, planting evidence and soliciting sexual favors from victims and witnesses. The advertisement read, "The police and eyewitness reports of criminal behavior perpetrated by members of the Kansas City, Kansas police department, over the past several decades, are staggering. They detail graphic accounts of rape, murder, sex trafficking and corruption so rampant and so blatant, it would be shocking if even a single allegation were true."
Team Roc also posted on their Instagram to further shed light on the situation surrounding Kansas City and its judicial system.