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Judge in Meek Mill case reportedly under investigation by the FBI
In the wake of protests against Meek Mill’s prison sentence, the FBI has reportedly launched a probe against the Philadelphia judge who sentenced rapper Robert Rahmeek “Meek Mill” Williams to prison for violating his probation, Page Six reported Tuesday.
Mill was sentenced two to four years in prison Monday by Judge Genece Brinkley for violating his probation on grounds of failing a drug test and violating a court order limiting his travel.
Mill was first placed on probation after he was convicted on drug and gun charges in 2009 and sentenced to an eight-month sentence according to the Washington Post. Since then, the 30-year-old has been in and out of Philadelphia’s courthouse for other minor infractions that caused his probation to be further extended after violating probation in 2013.
A prosecutor in the case recommended that Mill avoid prison for his violations but Brinkley went ahead with the charge. Under this new sentence, the rapper is not eligible for parole for at least two years. Days before Mill was sentenced to prison, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin wrote a letter urging Judge Brinkley to reconsider sending the Philadelphia native to prison.
Meek’s attorney Joe Tacopina has since alleged that Brinkley was personally “enamored” with Mill’s case beyond court ethics, asking the rapper to sign with music mogul Charlie Mack’s label whom Brinkley is a friend of. The FBI has not confirmed nor denied the probe but Page Six reports that the federal authorities are looking into possible extortion.
In the wake of the judge’s decision, celebrities and fellow musicians have expressed outrage over the prison sentence.
Sadly there are Black folks going through the same radicalized injustice(s) within the justice system that Meek Mill has experienced for over a decade EVERY SINGLE DAY. This requires more than just gradual reform in laws—It requires a swift overhaul. pic.twitter.com/Mt13BwnIvJ
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2017
Meek Mill has been sentenced to 2-4 years for nonviolent parole violations and Brock Turner got 3 months for raping a woman behind a dumpster.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) November 14, 2017
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) November 7, 2017
Rick Ross; Philadelphia Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins, Jalen Mills, Torrey Smith, and Wendell Smallwood; and many others were at a rally held in Philadelphia supporting Mill’s release from prison Monday night.
— YG (@YG) November 13, 2017
— Aaron Kasinitz (@AaronKazreports) November 13, 2017
The crowd at the Free Meek Mill rally just sang “Dreams and Nightmares.” pic.twitter.com/9a5GqX4Smj
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) November 13, 2017
Roc Nation, where Mill is signed as an artist, has started a petition on Change.org titled “Somebody Save Meek Mill’ asking the federal Board of Parsons to review Judge Brinkley’s sentence.
“The stiff sentence was handed down despite the recommendations of both his probation officer and the District Attorney,” the petition reads. “Meek’s efforts to change his image while still remaining true to his artistry and who he is as a man went unnoticed as well.”
Due to an enormously grave miscarriage of justice, we ask you to read and sign the petition for @MeekMill on @Change.org: https://t.co/6002Oldkg5 #FreeMeekMill #Justice4Meek pic.twitter.com/umSPBLk8nq
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) November 9, 2017
— T.I. (@Tip) November 9, 2017
Some online users voiced support for the judge’s final decision, citing the multiple chances that have been extended to the rapper.
So the black community can protest for a rapper who knew what violating probation could cost him, but not lack of school choice, inner city crime, economics or any other major issue? Just protest for Meek Mill? Not everyday people?
— Mrs_Pinky85 (@mrs_pinky85) November 14, 2017
Meek Mill’s judge let 5 probation violations slide & even let him leave the state to go on tour. System may be fucked but Meek is a fuck up. https://t.co/Tu2BLjE38r
— The Unorthodox Duck (@GeauxGabby) November 7, 2017
H/T Page Six
Danielle Ransom is a journalist who has worked as a researcher for CNN, NBC's KXAN-TV, CBS' KEYE-TV.