Team ROC, the social justice arm of JAY-Z’s Roc Nation, attempted to take out a billboard in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which would call for the local District Attorney to hold police officer Joseph Mensah accountable for recklessly shooting and killing three men of color (Alvin Cole, Anthony Gonzales and Jay Anderson) during police stops within a five-year span.
The effort was refused by Lamar Advertising Company for the “Officer Mensah Must Be Held Accountable” Billboard citing the message “could have an effect on a future action” and/or is an “issue with criminal implications.” The response does not reflect that of the Lamar’s Copy Acceptance policy.
Team ROC aimed to reach a compromise by changing the text to “Police officers Shouldn’t Murder Innocent People,” however, they were met with another decline, “Sorry but the last line of copy is not acceptable for the same reason as the prior copy.”
Team ROC attorney Jordan Siev sent a letter to Lamar’s attorneys stating a violation of First Amendment rights, specifically “improperly censoring Roc Nation’s speech on a matter of considerable public interest.” The letter also notes “Lamar simply does not want Roc Nation to make a statement that relates to Officer Mensah in any way, despite the significant public importance of the issue” and calls for them to “reconsider its decision to refuse Roc Nation’s business.”
You can see the full letter here and the copy for both billboards below.