Meek Mill breaks silence for first time since November arrest

The rapper has not spoken publicly about his situation, which has highlighted flaws in the justice system -- that is until now

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Meek Mill’s arrest and conviction on probation violation of a 2009 gun and drug case has turned a focus on what many say is a heavy handed sentence since his arrest back in November 2017.

The Ima Boss rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was sentenced to two to four years in prison, reaction came from both the political and the hip-hop world alike and inspire the hashtag #FreeMeekMill. As his team continues to build up his defense — including reports of corruption about both his sentencing judge and the police officer who testified against him in court — Meek has decided to end his silence to say a word to his family, friends, fans, and young Black youth in general.

READ MORE: Colin Kaepernick shows love for Meek Mill

Speaking out

“I appreciate all the love and all the support from the people from Philadelphia, all over the world. The people that have been showing support,” he said via phone from state prison in Chester, Pa., during Tidal’s “Reform: Bringing Injustice To Light” panel on Tuesday. 

“I think it’s about time Pennsylvania had this type of light shined on the system because I’m actually caught up in the system, not just me myself. Me and a bunch of other young men and older men and you know, it’s kind of hard to get out of,” he continued, according to WHYY“A few mistakes put me below zero from where I even started. They’re taking me from so high and bringing me back down and put me in a state penitentiary. They doing the average Black man worse.”

Meek also said that he intends to “speak on this system and what it does to Black people – on both f—— sides of the fence.

“Trust me, I’m gonna say something about that,” he said. “And then, I’m gonna move to Atlanta.”

Local social justice leaders and students from all over the city joined together to host the panel titled, REFORM: Bringing Injustice to Light, to discuss the rapper’s current legal status.

The panel hosted at the Philadelphia’s Irvine Auditorium included discussion from student-run groups from the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Drexel University.

The artist was phoned into the panel via his attorney Joe Tacopina. Meek’s mother, Kathy Williams and Reverend Al Sharpton stood with him on stage, Philadelphia magazine reported.

Meek Mill has a post-conviction hearing set for April 16.

READ MORE: Judge who sent Meek Mill to prison being investigated by FBI

Philadelphia police officer Reginald Graham, who was central to the arrest of rapper Meek Mill in 2007, is one of 29 officers on the District Attorney’s “Do Not Call List.” According to Newsweek, The Philadelphia Inquirer released a document that contained the names of several officers suspected of corruption.  

The instances of corruption surrounding Mill’s case are continuously growing. According to a report by Newsweek, courthouse clerk Wanda Chavarria, was recently fired for asking Mill for money during his probation hearing through a note. In the note, Chavarria asked if Mill would pay the final semester of her son’s tuition at Virginia Commonwealth University.  

The case against Meek Mill

Meek  was 18 when Graham had a hand in Mill’s 2008 conviction, after he was arrested for gun possession, while at a Philadelphia grocery store.

Meek Mill served eight months in prison for the crime and was placed on a 5-year probation after his release. In November of 2017, Mill was arrested for violating his probation and given a two-to-four-year sentence, which he is currently serving. A Philadelphia judge ruled that he violated the gun and drug case against him after his arrest for a fight at St. Louis Airport and another for reckless driving in New York.

READ MORE: Meek Mill fights to have judge removed from case

The case against the police

Meek Mill’s attorney, Joe Tacopina recently filed a motion claiming that Graham lied under oath to ensure the rappers’ arrest. Tacopina also accused the Philadelphia police and judicial system of unfair treatment and exploitation.

Tacopina also filed a motion to have Judge Genece Brinkley, who has overseen all of Mills’ trails including the initial incident that involved Officer Graham, removed from the case. 

The amount of people under investigation surrounding Mill’s case has to be grounds to re-evaluate his sentence. It is clear that this is more than just a coincidence.