Yo Gotti, Team Roc File Lawsuit on Behalf of Mississippi Prisoners

Carla Harmon
January 15, 2020

TMZ broke the story, Gotti enlisted Team Roc - the philanthropic arm of Jay-Z's Roc Nation - along with its own high-profile lawyer, Alex Spiro, to rep the offenders following a spike in mortal violence in several MS country prisons.

The five prisoners killed in January have been identified as: Denorris Howell, 36, who was found dead in his cell at South Mississippi Correctional Institute in Leakesville; Terrandance Dobbins, 40, who was killed at South Mississippi; Walter Gates, 25, who was stabbed and several other inmates were injured at Parchman; Gregory Emary, 26, who was killed at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility; and Roosevelt Holliman, 32, who was fatally stabbed at Parchman.

The lawsuit seeks damages for the inmates and an order forcing the Mississippi Department of Corrections to take action. The suit alleges that inmates are being kept in inhumane and unconstitutional conditions. "These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi's utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights".

XXL reached out to the Department of Mississippi Corrections for comment.

Some of the plaintiffs' attorneys are with a New York-based law firm whose clients include Jay-Z.

"Plaintiffs' lives are in peril", the lawsuit states per the Clarion Ledger.

Jay-Z was declared hip-hop's first billionaire past year thanks to such assets as a $75m (£57.5m) music catalogue and a $70m (£53.7m) stake in ride-sharing app Uber.

Hall announced December 31 that she would leave her job at the Department of Corrections in mid-January, coinciding with the transition to a new governor.

The claim, documented by Jay-Z's attorney Alex Spiro in the US District Court in Greenville, Mississippi, says "these passings are an immediate outcome of Mississippi's absolute negligence for the individuals it has imprisoned and their sacred rights", as per the report.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, says the max-security prison, Parchman, is a powder keg after 3 deaths in the first week of 2020.

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