Yo Gotti, Jay-Z and Team Roc are taking a stand on behalf of dozens of prisoners in Mississippi.
NBC News reports, the rap mogul sued the head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the warden of the state penitentiary on Tuesday (Jan. 14) on behalf of 29 prisoners.
The prisoners say the two officials have done nothing to stop the violence that has left five inmates dead in the past two weeks, according to NBC News.
The lawsuit was filed by Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro at the U.S. District Court in Greenville, Mississippi, NBC News reports. And it begins, "Plaintiffs' lives are in peril,” according to The Clarion-Ledger.
According to the lawsuit, NBC News reports, Spiro said, “These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi’s utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights.”
Spiro told NBC News in a statement, “We cannot treat people this way and it’s time to do something about it.”
Defendants named in the lawsuit include DOC Commissioner Pelicia Hall and Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshall Turner, NBC News reports.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Spiro sent a letter to Hall and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on behalf of Jay-Z and Yo Gotti protesting the “inhumane conditions in prisons operated by the Mississippi Department of Corrections,” and demanding they take “immediate steps to remedy” the situation.
“This unthinkable spate of deaths is the culmination of years of severe understaffing and neglect at Mississippi’s prisons,” Spiro’s letter reads, NBC News reports. “As Mississippi has incarcerated increasing numbers of people, it has dramatically reduced its funding of prisons. As a result, prison conditions fail to meet even the most basic human rights.”
Spiro added, “People are forced to live in squalor, with rats that crawl over them as they sleep on the floor, having been denied even a mattress for a cot.”
BET requested a comment from Spiro is waiting on a reply.
(Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for The Reform Alliance & Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)