The Eagles will play a Meek Mill song at the Super Bowl to highlight mass incarceration
It’s almost a surprise that Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill is still locked up for a probation violation. His sentence of two-to-four years in state prison is for violating his probation, which was the result of a 2008 arrest for gun possession. The judge’s effort to teach him a lesson by locking him up again has raised eyebrows, and the conduct of court officials in his recent case continues to come into question.
Meek Mill’s legal team is currently fighting for an appeal and to have his judge removed from the case. A Change.org petition is closing in on 500,000 signatures in a request for Pennsylvania’s governor and prison pardon’s board to let Meek go.
In a Sports Illustrated article, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin said he plans to help Meek work on ways to improve the criminal justice system when the rapper is released.
“I started with how do I help him get out of jail as quickly as possible. Now, this is like the probation system and criminal justice system are broken. How do we help make a big difference?” he said.
But on Thursday, the judge who sentenced Meek lashed out at bad publicity through a lawyer and threatened to file a lawsuit aimed at supporters. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a lawyer for Judge Genece E. Brinkley has said that private investigators and a PR campaign have been trying to take her down publicly since the sentencing. It’s an effort reportedly backed by Rubin and Roc Nation, among others, the report said.
“They have scoured Brinkley’s past for evidence to call her personal and professional ethics into question, while seeking to remove her from Mill’s case by arguing that she has inappropriately sought to infiltrate the rapper’s life and career during the nine years she has overseen his probation after a gun and drug conviction,” the article in the Philadelphia Inquirer says.
Indeed, the fight to free Meek Mill has revealed some odd details. Meek’s legal team accused the judge of pushing the rapper, during a private meeting, to leave his Roc Nation deal for a management deal with his probation officer. The judge also was accused of urging the rapper to remake a Boyz II Men song for her.
The judge unsealed a transcript of meetings that confirmed others in the room urged Meek to drop Roc Nation. Court papers also reportedly showed a court clerk slip Meek a note before he was sentenced, asking him to pay her kid’s university tuition. She was recently fired.
While Meek awaits his freedom, he can take consolation in the fact he’s become a city hero all over again. Sitting inside the medium-security Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Chester, he’ll know his song Dreams and Nightmares (Intro) from his 2012 debut album of the same name, will be playing as the Philadelphia Eagles take the field for Super Bowl LII.
For Meek, it’s a sign of inspiration as he fights an uphill legal battle. But come Sunday, his plight will be thrust into the spotlight in front of 115 million people.