Jay-Z pays fines for those arrested during protests for Alvin Cole

Cole’s mother and sisters were among the protesters arrested during the Wisconsin demonstrations

Jay-Z has posted bond and covered fines for demonstrators arrested in Wisconsin this week, following a decision not to charge the officer that fatally shot a 17-year-old, Alvin Cole, on February 2 this year.

Through Team Roc – the social justice division of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation – the rapper will cover fines for several peaceful protesters, as well as court fees for Alvin Cole’s mother, Tracy Cole, and sisters, Taleavia, Tristiana, and Tahudah, as reported by CBS. According to Team Roc, Tracy Cole was injured after officers used “excessive force” during the arrests in in Wauwatosa on Thursday night. 

Protests have flared up once more in the city due to the Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm’s decision to not bring charges against Wauwatosa officer Joseph Mensah. Chisholm claimed that Mensah acted in self defence when he killed Cole in a mall parking lot, and that there was “sufficient evidence” that he had “subjective belief that deadly force was necessary”.

According to USA Today, Mensah has shot and killed three people in the last five years, and has been cleared by Chisholm each time, having not faced any internal discipline for the first two shootings.

“Our hearts break for the family of Alvin Cole and the Wauwatosa community,” says Dania Diaz, Team Roc’s executive director. “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 alongside Jacob Blake’s father.”

Jay-Z and Team Roc have previously spoken out in support of Givionne Jordan Jr., a peaceful protester arrested in Charleston back in June, and have campaigned for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Read Team Roc’s statement on Alvin Cole’s case below.