Meek Mill, and his legal team, may have found a new way to get him released from prison.
Page Six reports that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has included Mill’s testifying officer Reginald V. Graham on a list of “dirty” cops, with the intention of getting them blocked from testifying in court. The list of accusations against the officers include “lying, racial bias, brutality or abuse of power.”
Graham reportedly arrested Meek Mill in 2007 gun and drug charges and later testified against him in court. Mill was arrested last year due to a probation violation related to this original 11-year-old case.
The list of corrupt officers was compiled and kept private by Philadelphia’s former district attorney Seth Williams, who is now in jail for corruption.
Defendants and defense lawyers were not made aware of the list until recently.
Meek Mill’s case history
According to court documents of the trial, it was Officer Graham’s account that was largely responsible for Meek Mill’s sentence, reports Page Six. Graham reportedly testified in 2008 that Mill, then 18-years-old, was spotted by police informants selling crack cocaine on a street corner in Philadelphia. Mill denied the claim and attested that he was actually in court supporting his cousin at the time of the exchange. Mill’s alibi was not considered by the court.
Mill also maintains that during his arrest he was beaten brutally by several officers. Photos of Mill’s allegations have gone viral over the years. During his 2008 trial, the rapper claims that he was handcuffed outside the station, then dragged inside where several police officers beat him until he was unconsciousness.
“I was getting beat by at least four cops,” Mill said, according to the transcripts. “I was laying on my stomach, I was being kicked in my face, punched in my face… I had stitches. I had lumps. If you see my mug shot from the pictures I went out [unconscious] like three times.”
“When you get thrown around with handcuffs, your hands are going to start bleeding….every last cop hit me,” he continued. He also mentioned his braids being ripped out from his head and there was blood on the ceiling.
Officer Graham was the only police officer to testify again Meek Mill.
Motives called into question
According to TMZ, Clerk Wanda Chavarria, who was at the court where Meek was sentenced over his parole violation, asked for help with her son’s Virginia Commonwealth University tuition.
In the note, Chavarria wrote: “My name is Wanda Chavarria and I hope that you don’t take offense to this letter or my request but I had to take this opportunity for my son. As a fan of the Arts (dancing/singing/theater), I’m praying that you will be able to help my son.”
She went on to give her contact information and explained, “This will probably be my son’s last semester at VCU if the tuition isn’t paid for this year and unfortunately with my bad credit, I am unable to secure a loan or co-sign a loan for my son. Anything that you can do is very much appreciated.”
She concluded: “It is every parent’s hope to provide the best for their children. Unfortunately, I am unable to fully financially support Marsell’s dream of going to college and pursuing his dream. So, I am turning to our friends and family for help. IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!! Every little helps – please donate what you can to help him attending VCU.”
According to TMZ, Chavarria hoped to get help from Mill because they both had Philadelphia roots.
The judge reportedly had no knowledge of the request, and Mill did not financially support Chavarria in any way.
Critics have blasted the judge for having a personal vendetta against Mill. Judge Genece Brinkley has been accused of handing down the tough sentence because Mill didn’t give her a shout-out in a song.
The battle to free Meek Mill
The #FreeMeekMill campaign has been going strong with support from legal experts, social justice activists and celebrities like Jay-Z and Colin Kaepernick. Civil rights activists, including Rev. Al Sharpton, has spoken out against the sentencing, calling it unnecessarily harsh. Sharpton has also said that he would be pushing for the removal of Judge Brinkley.
According to the Associated Press, Meek Mill‘s legal team asked an appeals court to free him from prison.
Lawyers for the famed rapper filed their appeal with Pennsylvania’s Superior Court, the same day that the Philadelphia judge who jailed Mill for the probation violation declined to release him and called him a “danger to the community.”
His lawyers unsuccessfully appealed to the higher court last week and have also called for the judge to step aside because “there was an FBI investigation” into her conduct and Mill’s case.