Judging by social media this week, it looked like rapper Meek Mill might actually be handed a get-out-of-jail-free card. Mill, who has been incarcerated after breaking his parole on a drugs and weapons charge from almost a decade ago, has been fighting to have his incarceration reversed. He’s currently serving two to four years after being slapped with a controversial sentence in the Philly court last year, one that inspired the popular “Free Meek Mill” campaign.
But when Twitter erupted with rumors that Mill would be walking out of jail next week, the news spread faster than it could be confirmed.
According to Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina, there’s “no truth” to rumors that the rap star will be walking out of the correctional facility in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, on Monday.
Even so, there’s been an outpouring of support for his release among fans, music industry honchos, and even political figures.
Philly Mayor Jim Kinney recently visited Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, in prison, saying that the talented young star would better serve the community outside of a jail cell.
“I think we need to look at how we handle criminal-justice issues and how we treat people when they’re young,” he said, “and shouldn’t follow them when they’re older. They have responsibilities to take care of children, child in this case, and be better off doing it if he went to work.” The mayor also called for swift criminal-justice reform.
Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner would also like to see the sentence overturned. Krasner, who was elected this year by taking a tough stance on mass incarceration, particularly as it impacts the African-American community, anticipates that there could be a reversal.
“There is a strong showing of likelihood of [Mill’s] conviction being reversed,” Krasner has said, citing false testimony of a police officer in the case.
Even the Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf endorsed Mill’s release, tweeting, “I support D.A. Larry Krasner’s position in the case of Robert Williams (Meek Mill). Our criminal justice system is in need of repair.”
Mill is scheduled to appear in court on Monday about a post-conviction relief motion in hopes of getting this most recent conviction overturned. He had already done jail time for a 2007 arrest for not having a license to carry a concealed weapon. Judge Genece E. Brinkley stunned everyone in the courtroom when she sentenced the rapper to years in prison for the minor parole violation of riding a motorized bike down a New York City street. Not even the DA’s Office asked for Mill to be incarcerated at the time the judge handed him what many experts have said is a very heavy-handed and surprising sentence.
The case has been controversial from the start, with allegations by Mill’s attorney that Brinkley is too personally invested in the case to be fair, having once asked his client to write about her in a new song. Meanwhile. Brinkley has blocked any and all attempts so far to parole Mill.