JAY-Z’s Team Roc is calling for charges to be dropped against Givionne Jordan Jr. after he was arrested in Charleston, South Carolina during a peaceful protest on May 31. Video of his arrest, which has since went viral, shows police approaching the peaceful protesters and specifically choosing Jordan, a Black man, from the group to be arrested.
Team Roc is now planning to take action against the police for his arrest, which they say is “unconstitutional.” Attorney Jordan Siev sent a letter to the city of Charleston demanding that all of Jordan’s charges be dropped and the officers involved be reprimanded.
“It has come to Roc Nation’s attention that in the course of retaliating against and attempting to control these protests, some of Charleston’s police have gone so far as to arrest nonviolent, non-threatening protesters solely on the basis of their constitutionally protected speech,” Siev wrote.
He continued, “Here one sees a single protester — who does not threaten, provoke or even approach the dozens of armed police officers facing him, kneeling peacefully and expressing his well-justified grief — hauled away from his fellows and unceremoniously arrested by multiple officers. A more clear-cut violation of this protester’s First Amendment rights could hardly be imagined. It is our understanding that this is not an isolated incident.”
“Roc Nation urges Chief Reynolds and the entire Charleston Police Department, to do what is right,” the letter continued. “Honor these protesters’ human and constitutional right to protest. Respect their entitlement to speak out regarding the enduring specter of racism in our nation — which all too often finds its expression in violence by law enforcement officers. Act now to release all protesters who have been arrested without lawful cause and make it known that further acts of repression by Charleston police will not be tolerated.”
Jordan has been released on $465 bond, but is still facing legal charges. He is set to appear in court on June 16. Team Roc’s director of philanthropy Dania Diaz is also applying pressure on the Charleston Police Department.
“We are outraged by the Charleston Police Department’s reprehensible arrest of Givionne Jordan Jr.,” Diaz said in a statement. “Not to mention their dismissive response to our concerns about their conduct. Giovionne’s arrest was unlawful and the Charleston police clearly violated his Constitutional right to peacefully protest. We applaud Givionne and demand that his charges are immediately dismissed.”
Watch the video of Jordan’s arrest below.