PHILADELPHIA — In the face of a spate of new evidence that rap artist Meek Mill was framed up, Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley has set an April 16 hearing that could overturn his 2008 conviction for drug and gun possession and assault. Brinkley threw Mill, who was on parole, back in prison last November over the objection of both the city prosecutor and his parole officer.
The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed Feb. 13 that the District Attorney’s office kept a confidential list of some two dozen cops “with a history of lying, racial bias, or brutality,” to “guide” prosecutors on whether or not their testimony should be allowed in court. Reginald Graham, the cop who arrested Mill and was the sole witness against him in his 2008 trial, is on that list.
Former cop Jerold Gibson, who was with Graham the night Mill was arrested, swore in an affidavit released last November that Graham lied when he said that Mill pointed a gun at him during his arrest.
“The guilty verdicts were expressly based on the court crediting Officer Graham’s testimony,” Mill’s lawyer Peter Goldberger said in requesting a hearing after the list was revealed.
Mill, an internationally known African-American performer, was arrested in 2007 when cops assaulted him and charged him with possession of drugs and a gun. He served eight months in prison and was put on probation for five years.
Judge Brinkley, who presided over that trial, has repeatedly extended Mill’s parole for alleged misbehavior since his release from prison, including one for being videoed doing wheelies on a motorbike when he was in New York promoting his latest CD.
A month later, Judge Brinkley denied a motion for bail while his lawyers appealed the prison sentence, claiming Mill is “a flight risk” and a “danger to the community.” Mill’s lawyers appealed the denial and filed a motion that Brinkley recuse herself from the case because she is prejudiced against him. Newsweek reported in December that the FBI is investigating Brinkley for her biased treatment of Mill.
Opposition to the criminal “justice” system’s treatment of Mill is widespread here, where signs in storefront windows, on newsstands and T-shirts proclaim, “Stand with Meek Mill.” He is seen as a symbol of the racist and anti-worker functioning of the “justice” system. Jay-Z, Kevin Hart, Colin Kaepernick and other celebrities have spoken out in his defense.