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Kodak Black does not need your sympathy. He needs a better system.

Kodak Black was arrested in his Florida home yesterday while on Instagram Live and charged with seven felony counts, including grand theft of a firearm, child neglect, possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon, and two counts of probation violation.

You can actually hear the officers in the background as his IG Live broadcast was still rolling.

The 20-year-old rapper, born Dieuson Octave, will remain in custody at a Broward County jail after a court hearing Friday where he will be held without bond, according to Florida’s Sun Sentinel.

Even if you don’t follow Kodak’s music, if you’re a fan of hip-hop, you know that the “Tunnel Vision” rapper’s name has become synonymous with jail time.

In 2015, Kodak was arrested in Pompano Beach on charges of robbery, battery, two counts of false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age, three counts of false imprisonment of an adult, driving with a suspended license, and possession of marijuana.

In 2016, he was for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and fleeing from law enforcement, placing him on a year of house arrest. And in 2017, Kodak was arrested on a probation violation charge after he was accused of leaving his house to go to a strip club. He was also indicted on sex assault charges last October.

There is obvious tremendous culpability here. With the amount of money Kodak makes he can easily hire a body guard with registered weapons instead of having a stolen one.

He could adhere to his house arrest restrictions and not have 4.9 grams of marijuana in his bedroom closet. He is also an alleged sexual assailant. No one is making excuses for his behavior by any stretch of the imagination.

However, it is just as lazy to demonize the rapper. To assert that he just “can’t do right” or that he is incapable of abiding the same rules everyone else is mandated to adhere is the first level of a multi-faceted problem.

When you see Kodak in and out of jail, why is it he, a 20-year old kid born to an immigrant family in the slums of the Florida projects, who is labeled broken and not our correctional system, that incarcerates at a rate 4 to 7 times higher than other Western nations, causing American taxpayers over $80 billion per year?

Think about Meek Mill.

In November of last year, the Philadelphia born rapper was sentenced to 2-4 years in state prison… for riding a dirt-bike! We’re talking 2-4 years for a nearly decade old case from when he was 18.

The same in-and-out-and-in cycle that has plagued Kodak is the one that has effected Meek, and is the real problem that needs to be looked at here: Recidivism.

Recidivism, which has come to be known as “the revolving door” is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.

According to Prison Scholars, 67.8% of all released prisoners are re-arrested within three years of release. And being that African-Americans make up a larger proportion of these prisoners, of course, recidivism most directly affects them as well.

When we look at cases like Kodak and Meek Mill, delinquent should not be our fist thought. Neither should hard-headed or “threat”.

There is an obvious link between poverty and imprisonment in our country that cannot be ignored. And because our prison systems do not make life after incarceration habitable — with limited economic mobility and fiscal consequences — there’s no wonder why poor communities of color also pay the highest price of high recidivism.

Kodak Black doesn’t need your sympathy, he needs a better system. Without a program that rehabilitates, Kodak is doing no better behind bars than he is on the streets.

FBI to probe judge who sentenced Meek Mill as Philly shows their support

Last Monday Meek Mill was sentenced to serve two to four years in state prison for probation violation.

Since the hearing a week ago there has been a strong outrage over the sentencing, the judge overseeing Meek’s case, and the American prison system in general.

While Meek isn’t perfect — his probation stems from a 2008 gun and drug charge (which he served a year for) — when it comes down to it, a 30-year-old father is going to be spending significant time behind bars due to two separate offenses that were both previously dropped.

Meek’s Lawyer, Joe Tacopina says that this court’s conclusion was not right and told CNN says they plan to appeal the sentence and accused judge Brinkley, of being “enamored” with the rapper and taking “a personal interest in the case.”

“(Meek’s) frustrated, really frustrated and knows he’s being treated different than anyone else,” Tacopina continued. “If his name was John Smith, he wouldn’t be in jail and he certainly wouldn’t be on probation.”

Tacopina went on to criticize Brinkley for extending Mill’s initial five-year probation sentence following various violations. “He’s been on probation for nearly 10 years. Nobody goes on probation for 10 years,” Tacopina added.

As an act of solidarity, the city of Philadelphia held a rally outside the city’s Criminal Justice Center to protest the decision.

At the rally were Meek’s MMG comrade Rick Ross, Philly native PnB Rock, Macklemore, NBA Hall-of-Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving (Philadelphia 76ers), and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, who also spoke at the event.

“I’m here to support my brother Meek Mill. I want y’all to understand that if it take Meek Mill to draw this attention, we gonna use Meek Mill to draw this attention that is gonna speak for so many others,” Rozay said at the rally.

Now, according to Page Six, the FBI is launching a probe into the judge proceeding the case. According to a source of Page Six the FBI’s interest is legitimate saying,

“The feds have an interest in the judge and [her] potential relationships. This is an investigation looking into a possible extortionate demand. Undercover agents have been in the courtroom monitoring the Meek proceedings since April 2016.”

The violations which brought Judge Genece E. Brinkley to her decision were an atercation at a St. Louis airport in March and the second in August when Meek was arrested in New York for reckless endangerment for popping wheelies on his dirt bike and not wearing a helmet.

The fact that Meek Mill can possibly spend four years in a state prison for illegally riding a dirt bike is ridiculous to say the least. Whatever you think of Meek Mill, it doesn’t take much to see a failure in the system here.

What Meek’s camp and the hip-hop community are hoping for is that the judge is removed from the case and justice can be served.

If you want to do something to help, go to and petition for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to reconsider Meek’s sentence.

So far, the petition has well over 350,000 signatures.