JAY-Z is helping to provide a top lawyer for a black family held at gunpoint by police officers in Phoenix, Arizona over a shoplifting incident.

Dravon Ames, his pregnant fiancee Iesha Harper, and their four-year-old girl had just left a Family Dollar discount store on 29 May (19) when they were confronted by aggressive cops who threatened to shoot them while they were sitting in their car.

Unbeknownst to the couple, its daughter had picked up a Barbie doll on her way out of the shop, without having her parents pay for it.

In video footage of the tense confrontation, one of the policemen can be heard screaming at Ames and Harper, "Get your f**king hands up! I'm gonna f**king put a cap (bullet) in your a**...! You're going to f**king get shot!"

The couple can be heard insisting, "Our hands are up," as a distressed Harper tells the officer she is pregnant.

The disturbing clip has since gone viral, prompting Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego to condemn the "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional" actions of the officers, while authorities have launched an investigation into the situation, and placed the cops involved on desk duty.

On Saturday (15Jun19), Ames and Harper filed a $10 million (£8 million) civil lawsuit against city officials, and according to The Blast, rap mogul and criminal justice reform advocate JAY-Z has hired legal eagle Alex Spiro to join the family's team free of charge.

Spiro will also assist them in filing charges against one member of law enforcement for child neglect.

Representatives for the Empire State of Mind hitmaker, who was recently crowned hip-hop's first billionaire by Forbes magazine experts, have yet to comment on the news.