A lot of stories have emerged from the nationwide protests that have been going on following the death of George Floyd. One of the most prevalent was the arrest of Givionne “Gee” Jordan Jr., who was peacefully protesting in Charleston, South Carolina when, seemingly out of nowhere, officers arrested Jordan. A video of the incident went viral, and it has nearly 30 million views on Twitter as of this post. Jordan was taken to jail and charged with “disobeying lawful order” before being released on June 1 on a $465 bond. He has a court date scheduled for June 16.
Following the arrest, Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds told the Post And Courier, “We specifically asked for them, numerous times, to disperse. We said if you don’t, you will be arrested.”
Now, Team Roc, a social justice-focused part of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, wants something to be done about the situation.
please watch. please listen closely. if anyone has any information on this man / a link to his go fund me please let me know. this is absolutely not okay. we will not be silenced. pic.twitter.com/t2h6FovmoL
— (っ'-')╮ (@sweeeetdee_) June 1, 2020
Team Roc has been involved since the start, actually. The day after Jordan’s arrest, Team Roc lawyer Jordan Siev sent a letter to the city of Charleston, in which he wrote, “It has come to Roc Nation’s attention that in the course of retaliating against and attempting to control these protests, some of Charleston’s police have gone so far as to arrest nonviolent, non-threatening protesters solely on the basis of their constitutionally protected speech. Here one sees a single protester — who does not threaten, provoke or even approach the dozens of armed police officers facing him, kneeling peacefully and expressing his well-justified grief — hauled away from his fellows and unceremoniously arrested by multiple officers. A more clear-cut violation of this protester’s First Amendment rights could hardly be imagined. […] Act now to release all protesters who have been arrested without lawful cause, and make it known that further acts of repression by Charleston police will not be tolerated.”
On June 11, Team Roc received a response from the city, and assistant corporation counsel Heather Mulloy wrote, “The City is continuing to navigate through the unprecedented and violent attack by rioters on the City and its citizens on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and continues to hold the safety and security of citizens and visitors as a top priority. Protests have continued throughout the City since that evening and the City and the police department have strived to preserve the individual constitutional rights of protestors. As solidarity with lawful peaceful protestors and trust with the community are also goals of the City and the police department, the City and the police department continue to work hand in hand with leaders of protest groups to protect their safety and that of the citizens of Charleston throughout these trying times.”
Team Roc did not love that response, as Team Roc Director Of Philanthropy Dania Diaz issued a statement that reads, “We are outraged by the Charleston police department’s reprehensible arrest of Givionne Jordan Jr. — not to mention their dismissive response to our concerns about their conduct. Giovionne’s arrest was unlawful and the Charleston police clearly violated his Constitutional right to peacefully protest. We applaud Givionne and demand that his charges are immediately dismissed.”
This news comes after Roc Nation took out ads in newspapers across the US in honor of Floyd.