11-year-old Jabari Talbot was arrested by a school resource officer after refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida. The sixth-grade student was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence.
According to reports, a substitute teacher asked Talbot to stand up for the pledge. He apparently told the substitute the American flag and the national anthem were offensive to black people. Jabari was also accused of threatening the teacher and telling school officials he would get them fired.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has stepped up to help Talbot and his family. Attorney Alex Spiro was assigned to work on Jabari’s case pro bono. Spiro and the Roc were able to get the charges dropped.
“Jabari is a courageous and intelligent young man who deserves all the credit for standing up for his beliefs,” said Spiro in a statement. “He should’ve never been arrested or entangled in this situation – his freedom of speech rights were clearly protected under the 1st Amendment.”
Jay-Z was also directly involved in getting Meek Mill released from a Pennsylvania state prison last April, and the Hip Hop elder statesman is assisting 21 Savage with his pending federal deportation case. Additionally, Lil Wayne credited Jay with paying off his back taxes.