Meek, whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was arrested in 2008 on gun possession and drug dealing charges after returning from a local grocery store to his cousin’s South Philly home. Despite being released eight months later and kickstarting one most successful rap careers of the last decade, Meek has been on probation for the better part of the last decade, and has been sent back to prison by local Judge Genece E. Brinkley multiple times.
The latest prison stint, which ended abruptly yesterday, was the result of a dirt bike wheelie caught on social media while Meek was shooting a music video in New York City last year. In past months, public focus on Meek’s case intensified, with a number of prominent activists and journalists pointing to the rapper’s trials and tribulations as endemic of America’s penchant for unjustly incarcerating young black men. “
Also included in Solotaroff’s Rolling Stone piece is the story of former Philadelphia narcotics officer Reggie Graham, who was integral in Meek’s original 2008 arrest. According to numerous reports, Graham and the cops he ran with were notorious for robbing Philly residents and trumping up non-existent charges as a way to steal drugs, money, and other personal property. While Meek admitted during the decade-old trial that he had been carrying an unlicensed gun on the day of his arrest, the official reasoning given by officer Graham for the South Philly narcotics bust has been called into question numerous times, and been all but proven false.
“In Philly, illegal carry is a misdemeanor, typically punished with a fine and house arrest,”
But after ten years either locked up or under the watchful eye of police, prosecutors, and Judge Brinkley, it was Graham’s inconsistent story that finally freed Meek Mill on Tuesday. Html” target=” blank”>a hearing last week
But after ten years either locked up or under the watchful eye of police, prosecutors, and Judge Brinkley, it was Graham’s inconsistent story that finally freed Meek Mill on Tuesday. Html” target=” blank”>a hearing last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with Meek’s lawyers, and granted the rapper bail while his original case is re-examined. With a pregame appearance to raucous applause and courtside seats next to Sixers owner Michael Rubin and comedian Kevin Hart, Meek watched as his hometown team sealed a series-clinching victory.
Still though, while Meek is now a free man with the support of Pennsylvania’s highest court, the platinum rapper was quick to note that his case is unique, and that there are tens of thousands of other victims of state bias still rotting in prison. With his newfound freedom, Meek took to social media and vowed to stand up for those still incarcerated, and to continue the fight against racially-charged systemic oppression.