In SummaryTeam ROC previously sued the Kansas City Police Department, alleging it participated in police misconduct.
Update 1/19/2022, 6:30 p.m.
In an open letter to the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Jay-Z’s entertainment company’s social justice division, TEAM ROC, has asked the department to investigate the Kansas, City Kansas Police Department.
Team ROC said “there is no justifying the DOJ’s silence” on reports that the KCKPD covered up police misconduct and that it needs to conduct a “pattern or practice” investigation, according to NBC News.
“The DOJ’s continued inaction tells targeted minority communities held hostage to the whims of the carceral state that justice does not exist for them, that their lives do not matter,” the letter reads.
Team ROC sued the Kansas City Police Department in September, requesting documents related to the training and supervision of KCKPD officers, BNC previously reported.
“Because of the Kansas Public Records Act that allows interested parties to look at various states and government documents, we’re allowed to see certain files and how the government handled certain issues,” Team ROC attorney Alex Spiro told news outlets at the time. “The government has attempted to block our access to those files, and so we’re suing to see what they don’t want us to see.”
According to NBC News, the police department has been accused of participating in corruption and civil rights violations over the decades.
“This is a department that […] for whatever reason it has left a lot of harm in its wake and has been unchecked for a long time. We saw it as an issue; we couldn’t just stand idly by,” Spiro told BNC.
A former Kansas City detective was investigated last year after being accused of framing people for crimes they didn’t commit and exploiting Black women for sex.
“Our relationship with the community is of utmost importance which is why we are focused on strengthening current relationships and restoring those that have been broken,” Police Chief Karl Oakman said in a statement last year, as reported by NBC.
Spiro told BNC the KCKPD needs to work alongside its community and not against its community.
“Some of these things are just implicit racial bias, misperceptions [and] misunderstandings,” he said. “We have to cleanse the past wrongdoing and think through how do we change this police department, so it exists for the betterment of itself and the community.”
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to the KCKPD as the KCPD.
This article has been updated to include BNC’s interview with Team ROC attorney Alex Spiro.