“Unjust and Heavy Handed”: #Justice4Meek

Robert Rihmeek Williams, more commonly known by his stage name Meek Mill, is the most recent African American facing a grave injustice by our justice system. In short, Meek Mill was recently sentenced to 2-4 years in jail for violating his probation. A probation he was sentenced nearly 10 years ago.

Meek’s first encounter with the justice system was during his initial arrest when he was 18-years-old. Meek was caught outside of a corner store with possession of a gun, this initial sentence got him eight months in prison and five years of probation. This was back in 2008 and it is now 2017 and he his still on probation.

Meek has had a few run-ins with the law since he’s been on probation. The first encounter since his probation was in 2012 when authorities pulled him over because he smelled like marijuana.  The next encounter was in 2014 when his music career was starting to peak. He traveled out of state to perform without having the judge sign off on it first. These minor incidents all played a factor in why the length of his parole was extended.

There have been two incidents this year where Meek has violated his parole. The first being a fight he got into at a St. Louis Airport after he rejected a photo-op. The second was because Meek popped a wheelie on his bike in NY. When he was riding his bike on the empty street, there were police present the whole time and none of them cited him for reckless driving or for any traffic violations. It wasn’t until the video hit social media that they wanted to take him into custody.

The fight and traffic incident are what led to Meek’s harsh 2-4 year prison sentence and many people were enraged. No one could fathom why he had incurred such a harsh sentence for such minor parole violations. Among his supporters have been many prominent celebrities – Jay-Z, T.I., Kevin Hart, and even Colin Kaepernick. On Monday evening, there was a rally outside of the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia where many gathered to stand in solidarity with Meek; among those were Rick Ross, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Malcolm Jenkins, Macklemore, and Pnb Rock. Many other celebrities expressed their support through social media with the hashtag #Justice4Meek. There is also petition going around, created by Philadelphia Governor Tom Wolf, to get Meek’s sentenced reconsidered. Over 370,000 people have already signed the petition and it can be found on change.org.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding this case and the presiding judge’s involvement with Meek Mill. Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced Meek Mill to 2 – 4 years in prison, and many believe this harsh sentence is a part of her own vendetta against Meek. Both the prosecutor and probation officer urged the judge to not give him any jail time, but she went ahead and did so. There have been alleged reports of the judge telling Meek to drop his contract with Jay-Z and to sign with her friend, a local Philadelphia manager. The judge has also been accused of asking Meek to remix a Boyz II Men song and shout her out at the end. Judge Genece Brinkley is now being investigated by the FBI because of the recent sentencing and accusations.