After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the release of Meek Mill on Tuesday, overruling Philadelphia Judge Genece Brinkley who, throughout the case, had faced frequent claims of bias and requests to recuse herself, the rapper is preparing to take his message to the masses.
Within hours of his release, Meek Mill sat down with NBC’s Lester Holt for an exclusive interview about this incarceration, plans for the future and how he wants to help other men caught up in the jaws of the criminal justice system.
Meek on how he’s feeling since being released:
I haven’t slept on minute since I’ve been out of prison. It’s actually like a culture shock coming from a small cell back into the real world so I think my body has to adjust at this point.
To the Philly District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice. I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues.
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 24, 2018
Meek Mill, whose real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, had been in jail for five months after his latest probation violation. Meek was arrested twice in 2017 after years of having his probation on a 2007 gun charge extended due to multiple violations.
His first 2017 arrest was for a fight at an airport in St. Louis and the second came after he was seen on video doing dirt-bike stunts on the streets of Manhattan. He also tested positive for Percocet, violating the terms of his probation.
On Nov. 7, 2017, Judge Brinkley said that Meek had repeatedly “thumbed his nose” at the court.
Meek begged for mercy, saying he did not intend to disrespect the court’s orders. Brinkley sent the rapper to prison for two to four years, against the recommendation of the assistant district attorney and Meek’s probation officer. They both recommended that he not be incarcerated.
The sentence set off a nationwide firestorm surrounding criminal justice reform and spawned a movement that led to #FreeMeekMill becoming a hashtag and rallying cry around Philadelphia.
Judge Genece Brinkley has set a hearing for June at which either the initial charges against Meek Mill could be dropped or a new trial ordered.