Jay-Z’s Team ROC Hires Attorney for Man Wrongfully Arrested at Wisconsin Applebees

After Kenosha police officers mistakenly believed Jermelle English Jr. was involved in a hit-and-run incident and arrested him at a Kenosha, Wisc., Applebees in July, Jay-Z’s Team ROC — Roc Nation’s philanthropic and social justice arm — has hired attorney Alex Spiro to get all charges dropped in the upcoming case. 

According to ABC WISN 12, cell phone footage caught Kenosha police officers approached English inside the restaurant and accused him of being a suspect in the car crash. Despite vehemently denying his involvement, authorities pinned him down to the ground while he held his 1-year-old child. Witnesses told police the suspects involved in the hit-and-run included two Black men and a woman carrying a child heading toward a local Applebee’s. Officers believed English was the culprit and aimed to pull the baby out of his hands while attacking him on the ground. According to the Associated Press, the video appears to show one of the officers punching English.

Though police later learned English and his family were not involved, Kenosha police charged him with disorderly conduct, 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. 

According to ABC and NBC News, the Kenosha police have launched an internal investigation into the incident. Billboard has reached out to the Kenosha Police Department for comment.

“The reckless arrest of Jermelle English Jr. and the careless endangerment of his infant child by the Kenosha Police Department is an absolute travesty,”Dania Diaz, Team ROC’s managing director, said in a release. “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.”

Along with working on getting the charges dropped, Spiro will also work to “evaluate civil suits against those responsible,” according to the announcement from Team ROC.

This isn’t the first time Team Roc has aided the community of Milwaukee. In 2020, it helped coordinate a rally for Alvin Cole in Wauwatosa, who was killed by a police officer earlier. Team ROC paid legal fees for the peaceful demonstrators arrested and fined for their involvement. 

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