Jay-Z Supports Phoenix Family Held At Gunpoint By Police Outside Dollar Store, Offers To Pay Legal Bills
On Sunday, The Daily Mail reported that rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation will be providing financial assistance to a family in Phoenix, Arizona, who was threatened by police at gunpoint last week.
After seeing the disturbing footage that took place outside the Family Dollar store, Jay-Z’s group hired a high-power attorney to assist the family in their legal battle as they prepare to sue the city of Phoenix for $10 million. The family in question consists of parents Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, and their two children.
According to Ames and Harper and bystander footage of the incident, police approached the family with their guns aimed to shoot after the 4-year-old daughter stole a $1 Barbie from the dollar store. The family had already entered the car when the police approached, yelling “Put your f****** hands up or I’ll put a f****** cap in your head.”
Ames got out of the car first, putting his hands in the air until the police could cuff him, while Harper stayed in the car as she held onto her infant, shouting that she couldn’t put her hands up because she was holding her baby.
A police officer can then be seen approaching Harper and saying, “When I tell you to do something, you f****** do it!”
Since the incident, police officers at the scene have claimed that they suspected the family of shoplifting multiple items and were unaware that the doll was one of the items.
Dravon Ames and fiancee Lesha Harper didn't notice when their daughter walked out with a Barbie from the store… https://t.co/eUhHty8yyG
— 9Honey (@9HoneyAU) June 16, 2019
Nonetheless, Ames and Harper are pursuing a lawsuit, claiming that the police officers violated their civil rights and accusing them of committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, and infliction of emotional distress.
Roc Nation’s managing director of philanthropy, Diana Diaz, spoke out about the incident, calling it “absolutely sickening.”
“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. We are committed to supporting the family to ensure that justice is served.”
This isn’t the first time Roc Nation has become involved in giving financial assistance to those perceived of being the victims of injustice.
Last year, the company came to the aid of a black man wearing a hoodie in a mall in Memphis, Tennessee, who was arrested by police. They also assisted an 11-year-old Florida boy earlier this year who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school and was arrested as a result.