Kulture by August Prum December 8, 2017
Meek Mill continues to be let down by the criminal justice system as the judge in his case has denied bail twice this week. Meek is now formally appealing his jail sentence, according to TMZ.
Meek’s prison sentence stems from a violation of his parole from an encounter with police in 2009. He was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison for riding a dirt bike without a helmet.
Judge Genece Brinkley has repeatedly acted bizarrely in Meek’s case, asking the rapper to change management teams to a personal friend of hers and requesting that Meek perform a Boyz II Men song while shouting her out.
Brinkley’s conduct has been so flagrant, she’s reportedly under FBI investigation.
TMZ reported that the judge’s behavior is the source of Meek’s appeal:
“In legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Meek’s lawyer laid out the groundwork for asking a higher court to free the rapper, on grounds the judge was unfair and biased against him.”
While denying Meek bail twice in one week, Brinkley asserted that the Wins & Losses rapper was a “danger to the community,” according to Billboard.
Denying bail is reserved for violent offenders or flight risks. Meek Mill is neither. The rapper is heavily involved in the Philadelphia community, mentoring young kids and trying to use his platform to help underprivileged youth from his neighborhood.
Meek’s lawyer responded to Judge Brinkley’s bail denial, saying this was more of the same behavior from the judge:
“We are very disappointed with Judge Brinkley’s decision to deny Mr. Williams bail, which continues her long pattern of unfair treatment of him.”
Meanwhile, Meek Mill hasn’t let any of this get him down. He’s reportedly an exemplary inmate, keeping busy as part of the general labor crew, according to TMZ:
“He’s part of the general labor crew, getting his hands very dirty. A prison rep tells us Meek cleans the cell block, tidies up prison grounds and washes dishes. He also cooks food and serves it up, too! He does it all with a smile, apparently, while earning just 19 cents per hour. The rep says he’s a model inmate who gets some juicy perks due to good behavior.”
Dude who is getting “juicy perks due to good behavior” is a danger to the community? Bet.
Meek Mill is a successful artist who is able to afford top notch legal representation and is still being victimized by a vindictive judge and the criminal justice system as a whole. It’s a disturbing reminder of the state of our legal system, especially for young men of color.
One encouraging result of this whole ordeal has been the outpouring of support for Meek from all over hip-hop and sports worlds, as well as the Philadelphia community.
Jay-Z called the sentence “unjust and heavy handed” and penned a New York Times op-ed about the situation.
Colin Kaepernick said Meek’s case was all too familiar.
Sadly there are Black folks going through the same radicalized injustice(s) within the justice system that Meek Mill has experienced for over a decade EVERY SINGLE DAY. This requires more than just gradual reform in laws—It requires a swift overhaul. pic.twitter.com/Mt13BwnIvJ
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2017
Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, who has become a vocal supporter of Meek’s, didn’t understand the scope of the judge’s behavior until he went to the hearing himself. He told Bleacher Report’s Natalie Weiner:
“Had I not seen it in person, I probably would not have gotten to this point of feeling like I have to stand up for him because he’s being treated so unfairly, and he can’t do this on his own.”
6ers center Joel Embiid went to visit Meek in prison, saying the experience was “scary.”
It’s been inspiring to see how the local Philadelphia community has rallied around Meek Mill, holding a Free Meek Mill rally in November.
Philly came out to support Meek Mill at the #FreeMeekMill rally!
Here's a clip of them doing the #DreamsAndNightmares intro.
Do you stand with the cause? pic.twitter.com/OAs7yjEF8S
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) November 13, 2017
With Judge Brinkley’s conduct under FBI investigation and Meek’s legal team formally appealing his sentence, hopefully this situation is rectified soon. Meek has made mistakes, but there’s no logical reason to keep this man incarcerated for 2-4 years.