Rapper Meek Mill has been incarcerated for four months on a 2-4 year sentence he received last year for probation violations stemming from a 2008 arrest.
The sentence for three minor violations, including two arrests in which the charges were later dropped, attracted nationwide criticism.
But new Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office said in recently filed court papers that, regardless of the legitimacy of the sentence for the violations, they don’t trust that Meek’s original conviction was legitimate.
There is “a strong showing of likelihood” of Meek’s original conviction “being reversed (in whole or in part),” the DA’s office wrote, according to the Associated Press.
That might make sense, given that arresting officer Reginald Graham was on former DA Seth Williams’ secret “do not call” list of 29 Philadelphia cops, 20 of whom have been fired or quit and nine of whom are still on active duty, who prosecutors did not trust to testify in court.
Jerold Gibson, the former son-in-law of former Gov. Tom Corbett who was fired from the Philadelphia Police Department for stealing cash found in evidence, has come forward to back up Meek’s claim, and submitted sworn statements that Graham and other cops beat Meek during the arrest.
Defense attorney Joe Tacopina, who is representing Mill, 30, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, called for Meek’s immediate release on bail in light of the filing.
Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced Mill in 2017 against the suggestions of prosecutors and probation officers, will make the final determination. She will hear arguments on Meek’s case at his Post Conviction Relief Hearing on April 16.
Tacopina and Meek’s family held a forum at UPenn’s Irvine Auditorium on March 14 to discuss the case and call for Meek’s release.
“I’m begging the DA Krasner… Can you please help me out?” Kathy Miller, Meek’s mother, tearfully said during the forum. “I don’t even understand how he’s been on probation for that many years. It’s like he murdered somebody.”
Mill was arrested in 2008 and served about nine months on charges of gun possession and assaulting police. In a 2015 Billboard interview, he admitted to having an illegal gun, but claims police beat him during the arrest, not the other way around.
Brinkley in 2014 tossed him in jail for four months followed by several months of house arrest for violations including performing at concerts outside of Philadelphia and not having a working phone number, in addition to tweets criticizing his probation officer and the prosecutor handling his case by name. He spent most of that time in solitary “protective custody” due to being a high-profile inmate.
Mill was re-incarcerated at the end of 2017 for three alleged probation violations: an arrest for driving his dirt bike in New York City and broadcasting it on Instagram (later dismissed), an arrest for scuffling with overly-aggressive fans in the St. Louis Airport (also dismissed), and a positive urine test for Percocet.