Jay-Z sues Mississippi officials on behalf of inmates

Prominent rapper and businessman Jay-Z on Tuesday sued the head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the warden of the state penitentiary on behalf of 29 inmates who say the two officials have been apathetic toward the violence that resulted in five dead inmates in the past two weeks.

According to NBC News, the lawsuit names three prisoners who were killed this year at the state penitentiary in Parchman, Miss.

The three inmates named were Walter Gates, Roosevelt Holliman and Denorris Howell.


"[Gates] was stabbed multiple times the night of New Year's Eve, and pronounced dead just after midnight," the suit states.

"Roosevelt Holliman was stabbed to death in a fight the next day. And Denorris Howell, an inmate of Unit 291 at Parchman, was stabbed multiple times and pronounced dead the day after that," according to the report.

The Clarion-Ledger investigated the problem of prison violence and found in 2014 that "gangs rule" the penitentiary. While corrections officials insist there is "zero tolerance" for violence, the most recent deaths call this claim into question.

"These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi's utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights," according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Jay-Z's lawyer Alex Spiro at the U.S. District Court in Greenville, Miss.