Is Meek Mill’s Arrest a Miscarriage of Justice?
Meek Mill has been sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison for violating parole, but advocates are speaking out, claiming the rapper is the victim of a vindictive judge and corrupt legal system. Meek Mill, who is 30 years old and a father, has been on probation since age 19. Now, he’s being sentenced to up to 4 years for violating that probation. However, many people, such as Jay Z are saying a corrupt justice system has been stalking him.
Jay Z writes in the New York Times “What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day. … A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”
Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was arrested in 2005 for illegally possessing a firearm and assaulting a police officer. Mill claims that he only walked outside armed, two cops claimed that they were chased by Mill as he fired at them.
Mill has said this arrest made him prioritize his rap career and stay out of trouble with the law. But in 2008, Mill was arrested on gun and drug charges. Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced Mill to a 11 to 23 month prison sentence.
Mill only served 8 months in prison and was granted parole in 2009 for good behavior. Mill was also granted a 5-year probation. However, Judge Brinkley extended the probation and locked the two in a legal battle that has gone to ridiculous lengths.
Throughout Meek Mill’s 20’s, he had to report his travel plans to his parole officer. For a touring rapper, out of state is how you make your living.
Mill violated parole by not disclosing his out-of-state touring plans to his parole officer when he was not granted a permit to leave the state. After his second violation, Judge Brinkley sentenced Meek Mill to take a weeks-long etiquette class to address his “threatening language”
In 2014, Brinkley sentenced Mill to 6 months in prison for violating his parole by posting a photo of him with a gun to Instagram. Mill’s lawyers argued that the gun was just a prop.
Judge Brinkley has also demanded some unusual things from Meek Mill as part of his probation. As CNN’s Van Jones reports, Since February 2016, Brinkley has repeatedly refused Mill’s request to access transcripts of his own legal proceedings.
In March 2016, Brinkley showed up at the place where Mill was doing community service and found out Mill was sorting clothes instead of serving food to the homeless. He explained that he had been assigned to sort clothes, but the judge was furious, and claimed it was just another way he had failed to follow her orders.
But Judge Brinkley seems to be enjoying inserting herself into Meek Mill’s life. Mill’s lawyers have told TMZ, Judge Brinkley instructed Mill to record a Boyz II Men song and dedicate it to the judge, and In February 2016, Brinkley recommended that Mill fire his well-respected management company and replace it with a local manager, who happens to be a friend of hers.
Also in 2016, Mill was in trouble for failing a drug test and not telling his parole officer he was traveling to New York. Judge Brinkley blamed Mill’s behavior on his break-up with Nicki Minaj, sentenced him to house arrest and 6 more years of probation.
In 2017, Mill was found to have violated his probation 3 times.
However, the 3 incidents don’t show Meek Mill to be a dangerous criminal.
In January, Mill tested positive for opioids, admitted he had a problem, and entered a rehab facility in Atlanta. Judge Brinkley said this was a violation because she approved travel to California, not Atlanta.
In March, Mill was charged for misdemeanor assault after a brawl at the St. Louis Airport. Mill had witnessed two people beating up an 18-year-old and he got out of his car to assist the teenager. Charges were dropped after Mill agreed to community service.
And lastly, Mill was charged for a moving violation while shooting a music video. Meek Mill was arrested for reckless endangerment for popping a wheelie on a dirt bike while driving through New York City, even though police were present during the video shoot. Mill is also the only person charged, even though he was not the only one to do such a stunt.
Mill’s attorney told the press. “What’s very telling about the police department’s intent here and how they viewed this is that they had 22 police cars [to] arrest Meek Mill on a traffic violation.” He adds, “I mean, I think when [mob boss] John Gotti was arrested, there were about four police cars.”
These three charges were enough for Judge Brinkley to sentence Mill to 2 to 4 more years in prison.
While Mill has had trouble with his probation, he’s not been convicted of a crime in over a decade. Still, the system is treating him, and countless others, as threats to society over minor infractions. As Jay Z says in his defense of Meek Mill, “Probation is a trap and we must fight for Meek and everyone else unjustly sent to prison.”
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