Rapper Jay-Z’s social justice philanthropic group Team Roc has donated $1 million to the non-profit Midwest Innocence Projects just weeks after the Team filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department (KCKPD) to obtain records and complaints of alleged police misconduct in the department. The Midwest Innocence Project focuses on investigating, litigating and exonerating wrongfully convicted people in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
Clients they have helped exonerate include Lamonte McIntyre, who served 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit in Kansas City, KS, and Ricky Kidd, who spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit in Kansas City, MO.
The Midwest Innocence Project is currently working to exonerate Kevin Strickland who was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in 1979. He has been in prison for 43 years.
The donation from Team Roc’s fundraising efforts will help the Midwest Innocence Project continue to investigate wrongful conviction cases and obtain the resources needed to enact real justice and accountability, especially in Wyandotte County where about 40 other people have applied for the Midwest Innocence Project to investigate their cases.
Last week, Team Roc also purchased a full-page ad in the Washington Post, asking for the Department of Justice to investigate alleged misconduct by KCKPD.
“The police and eyewitness reports of criminal behavior perpetuated by members of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, over the past several decades, are staggering. They detail graphic accounts of rape, murder, sex trafficking and corruption so rampant and so blatant, it would be shocking if even a single allegation were true,” the ad read.