As spotted on The Huffington Post Jay-Z has once again partnered with The Innocence Project. This time their focus is on the Midwest. According to the announcement Team Roc, the criminal justice division of Roc Nation, has helped raise over one million dollars for the non-for-profit organization. Tricia Rojo Bushnell, Executive Director of the Midwest Innocence Project, called the effort “a huge investment”. As per the press release the funds will ultimately strengthen their ability to look at these cases which is going to shine a light on what the group needs to do to provide a just criminal legal system in Wyandotte County.
Among those injustices is the wrongful conviction of Lamonte McIntyre, who spent 23 years in prison for two murders he did not commit in Kansas City, Kansas. Another is the case of Olin “Pete” Coones Jr., who spent 12 years in prison before he was exonerated of a Wyandotte County murder — only to die from cancer that went undiagnosed 108 days after he was freed. About 40 others have asked the innocence project to investigate their convictions in Wyandotte County, Bushnell revealed.
Back in September Team Roc filed a lawsuit against the police department in Kansas City. “The KCKPD is entrusted by the public to help maintain peace in the community. Yet, for years, it appears that officers have abused their power and engaged in wrongdoing,” the filing read. “To the extent that the KCKPD did not take any steps to remediate these issues, the public should have a right to know so they can organize and take appropriate steps to effect change.”
You can learn more about The Innocence Project here.
Photo: Neil Mockford