Philadelphia Rapper, Meek Mill, has decided to take a stand on the American Justice System, trying to reform justice, after being sent to jail for 2-4 years on November 6, 2017 for “popping a wheelie” in New York City.
The arrest and extensive prison sentence generated fans, fellow rappers and high-profile athletes, to rally and protest in Center City a few days later. Meek Mill was later granted an early release on April 24, 2018 by the state Supreme Court.
He has since teamed up with Rapper Jay-Z, 76ers Sixers co-owner, Michael Rubin, and the owners of the Brooklyn Nets and this year’s Super Bowl team, The New England Patriots. They have just announced their launch of an organization that will lobby for changes to state probation and parole laws.
Mill has said, “[This is] one of the most important things that he has done in his life.” It is self-less that he has decided to use his platform to change the justice system.
The Rapper has been on probation for 11 arduous years and will not be taken off until 2023. “If you thought my case was unfair, there are millions of others dealing with worse situations and caught up in the system without committing crimes,” Meek Mill continues. “With this alliance, we want to change outdated laws, give people hope and reform a system that’s stacked against us,” he concluded.
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics over 4.6 million people are subject to probation or on parole in the United States and about one third of these parolees and probationers are black.
Clarise McCants, criminal justice campaign director for Color of Change, (Philadelphia) has said, “A lot of people saw what was happening to Meek Mill, and they saw not just one egregious situation, but a mirror of the thousands of egregious cases just like this.”
For example, on April 12, 2018 two black men were arrested by Philadelphia Police for allegedly trespassing at a Starbucks. The two said they were there for a business meeting, and were hauled away in handcuffs. A viral video of the incident was widely condemned as discriminatory. This also sparked protests and later apologies were given from Philadelphia’s police commissioner and the CEO of Starbucks.
Here is more about that incident:
“Yet again, we see how it’s so easy for black folks to get caught up in the system and get caught up in the trap,” Clarise McCants said.
Since his prison, Meek Mill has released a project called “Stay Woke” featuring singer-songwriter Miguel, where he raps about the unfair American justice system. He also has rapped about the system in his album titled, “Championships;” in songs like “What’s Free,” featuring Jay-Z and Rapper Rick Ross and other tracks on the album.
Meek Mill has taken his nightmare of prison and is turning it into many men’s dreams of getting out in his reform project.