Jay-Z's social justice organization Team Roc is calling for the prosecution and termination of Wisconsin police officer Joseph Mensah, who killed three men of color over five years. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Mensah fired eight shots to kill Antonio Gonzales in 2015, six to kill Jay Anderson in 2016, and five to kill Alvin Cole in February. The latter of the three shouted "no gun," and in all instances, Mensah did not administer CPR to the victims.
Team Roc took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday, addressing District Attorney John Chisholm directly. "How many more people must die at the hands of Officer Joseph Mensah?" the ad begins. "Since joining the Wauwatosa Police Department in 2015, Mensah has shot and killed THREE men of color—Alvin Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson—with an excessive total of NINETEEN fired shots. His actions demonstrate an utter disregard for the lives of these young men."
It goes on to highlight that the police department did not mandate body cameras be enabled in two of the three instances, and as such "the failure to preserve video evidence has impeded multiple investigations." The letter asks that Chisholm mandate body cams for the police force. Team Roc is also calling for the immediate termination of Mensah's job, and for him to be prosecuted "to ensure he never kills anyone again." It's also worth pointing out that there has reportedly been "no other fatal shootings by police" in Wauwatosa since Mensah joined the force five years ago.
The news comes just as Roc Nation and Jay-Z announced the cancellation of Made in America 2020. "We are in a pivotal time in this nation's history," the announcement reads. "Collectively we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systematic racism, and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners, and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country."
The Made in America festival is expected to return Labor Day Weekend 2021.