The recent sentencing of Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill to two to four years imprisonment has opened up a lot of debates. Judge Genece Brinkley handed Mill the sentencing for various parole violations – but this is adjudged one sentencing too many.
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets to stage demonstrations asking for Mill’s release. Mill’s attorney even went ahead to ask Judge Brinkley to recuse herself from Mill’s case.
But why should we care about Meek Mill’s prison woes?
Meek Mill: Judge Brinkley Reportedly Engaged In Inappropriate Behavior Being Investigated By the FBI
The interest in the Meek Mill sentencing starts from Judge Brinkley’s apparent mishandling of the case. Mill’s attorney accuses Brinkley of taking “a personal interest in the case” and of demonstrating bias and inappropriate behavior.
The FBI has begun investigations into Brinkley’s behavior after she allegedly requested Mill to mention her in his song. Brinkley was also reported to have advised Mill on who should manage him for his musical career.
Several musical artistes and sportsmen and public figures condemned Brinkley for her high-handedness. Among these are Jay-Z, Rick Ross, T.I. and many Philadelphia Eagles players.
All these took part in the rally calling for Meek Mill’s release with such hashtags such as #FreeMeekMill and #JusticeForMeek among others. One of those that condemned the judgment of Brinkley is Shaka Senghor, a New York best-selling author and a formerly incarcerated activist.
Senghor said it is unheard off that a judge would show up at a probationary inmate’s community service as Brinkley did with Mill. He likened it to prying into the personal life of an ex-inmate.
So once again, why should we care about Meek Mill incarceration woes?
Meek Mill Case Represents the Thousands Out There and Highlights the Worst Injustices in the System
The Philadelphia rapper served eight months in prison when he was first convicted for gun and drug possession in 2008. Mill was arrested twice for slight violations this year but the charges were dropped – yet Brinkley thought it fit to send him to jail. If her current ruling is not overturned, the rapper will be spending more time in prison for violations than he did for his original conviction.
“Meek’s case is a real opportunity to raise some of the issues around the criminal justice system, particularly parole and probation, and point to the fact that somebody like Meek Mill, who’s been a huge mentor, he’s been an artist, he’s got a successful career, he’s a father, doesn’t need to be in prison,” said Jessica Jackson Sloan, mayor of Mill Valley in California and an attorney. “That doesn’t make us any safer.”
Sloan went on to say Mill’s case is symbolic of thousands other cases out there, and that it “highlights the worst injustices in the system.”
Senghor went on to decry what happens to released inmates once they are on probation, mostly black or colored people:
“If you’re on probation and you show up late to an appointment, that’s grounds for you to be sent to prison. If you don’t pay your fees and fines, that’s grounds for you to be sent to prison. If a police officer decides to write you a ticket for jaywalking, that’s grounds for you to be sent to prison. I don’t know one adult that can stand the litmus test of 10 years of scrutiny and walk through that unscathed.”