ay-Z’s Roc Nation is continuing to make moves when it comes to criminal justice reform in Kansas City.
In addition to filing a lawsuit against KCPD, the mogul and his philanthropic arm Team Roc have also raised $1 million in donations to help investigate a handful of wrongful convictions inWyandotte County.
Per the Kansas City Star, the money will go to the local Innocence Project and “equates to about a year’s worth of the organization’s budget for its work in five states, including Kansas,” according to the executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project Tricia Rojo Bushnell.
“It’s a huge investment,” Rojo Bushnell said, later adding: “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.”
The Kansas City Star has more:
The county has produced serious injustices, including the wrongful conviction of Lamonte McIntyre, who spent 23 years in prison for two murders he did not commit in Kansas City, Kansas. More recently, Olin “Pete” Coones Jr., who spent 12 years in prison, was exonerated of a Wyandotte County murder — only to die from cancer that went undiagnosed 108 days after he was freed. About 40 other people who were convicted in Wyandotte County have applied for the innocence project to investigate their cases, Rojo Bushnell said Monday.
As previously reported by The Root, in September, Team Roc filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City Police Department in which they allege KCPD refused to hand over documents that could potentially point to coverups of police misconduct over the years.
Nancy Chartrand, the public information officer for the KCPD previously told ABC News that the department is “not required to share those kinds of documents unless there are ‘specific circumstances’” and that they would be reviewing the 28-page petition before responding further.
Per the suit, “Team Roc is requesting any and all documents related to complaints against the Investigative Division of the department and documents pertaining to complaints against or investigations into individual officers with a history of abuse. Team Roc is also requesting any documents concerning the policies and procedures for the training and supervision of officers.”