Yesterday, rapper Meek Mill fought on for his rights with the criminal justice system, personified by Judge G. Brinkley.
Meek Mill has had run-ins with the justice system since he was 18, wrote the Philadelphia Sun-Times. However, his real problems began in 2008 after he received a conviction for gun possession and drug dealing by Judge Brinkley. He was soon released in 2009 on parole, which was to last 5 years.
However, in December 2012, he violated his probation by not showing up for a mandatory drug test. This led to Judge Brinkley issuing a 4-month travel ban, essentially denying him permission to go outside of Philadelphia County until the following court date. However, 2 months in, as the said court date approached, Meek Mill once again broke probation by leaving Philadelphia.
The judge was arguably lenient, ordering another travel ban, accompanied by mandatory etiquette classes. But the pattern continued — Meek Mill broke probation again, landing himself in jail for 6 months. He did this to perform out of town, so Meek Mill explained it was all about making money for him.
After breaking probation two more times in 2015 and 2017, Judge Brinkley sentenced him to 2 to 4 years in a state prison in November 2017.
Since then, public outrage occurred, and even a petition has been signed by more than 300,000 people, seeking to revoke Meek Mill’s unduly harsh sentencing.
Meek Mill’s own opinion on the fairness (or lack thereof) of the criminal justice system was expressed in an interview for CNN. He said he never felt protected by the police department and that he grew up seeing people killed on a daily basis. He also added that this vindicated the fact that he carried a gun.
The #FreeMeekMill movement was started with rapper Jay-Z at the head. Jay-Z stated for the New York Times that he believed Meek Mill is nothing but a victim of an overly-strict system. By doing so, he insinuated that the system was highly flawed and in need of a complete overhaul.
This movement resulted in him being released after five months. But apart from Meek Mill’s fans criticizing the criminal justice system, his attorney Joe Tacopina spoke to CNN in 2017 and claimed that he believed Judge Brinkley was “enamored” with Meek Mill and has therefore not been objective in the case.
Tacopina also told Billboard in 2017 that the judge went to where he was doing community service to see how it was going for him and even asked him to re-record a song and give her a shoutout in it. Billboard notes that these excerpts from the interview were edited, but comments like these were a testament to growing tension between the rapper and his assigned judge.
Meek Mill has now been fighting to get a hearing at the appellate court in Philadelphia, in an attempt to have the entire 2008 conviction overturned. His current Lawyer informed the press that he has a new hearing on July 16, 2019.
Judge Brinkley had previously rejected a petition by Meek Mill for a new trial the previous year, despite the Philadelphia District Attorney supporting it.
Meek Mill is hoping to be cleared of his conviction and that his judge is suspended from her position; in his eyes, that is the only way justice can be served.
Will Meek Mill rid himself of his troubles and perceived nemesis, Judge Brinkley, remains to be seen.