PHILADELPHIA — Hundreds turned out at Irvine Auditorium here March 13 for a program in defense of imprisoned rapper Meek Mill. The program, “REFORM: Bringing Justice to Light,” was sponsored by Gathering for Justice and student groups at Drexel, Temple and the University of Pennsylvania.
Mill was jailed in 2008 for drug and gun possession and released after serving eight months. He was put on five years probation, and has repeatedly been dragged into court on charges of violating his parole by Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley. In 2017 the judge ordered Mill back to prison for two to four years. Because of revelations about the lack of credibility of Reginald Graham, Mill’s original arresting officer, he has now won the right to a new trial.
Mill’s mother Kathy Williams, left; Rev. Al Sharpton, right; and Mill’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, center, spoke. Mill was applauded when he talked over the phone from prison. Tacopina said that fully one-third of the 50,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania are there for violations of parole. Others at the event included Philadelphia Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins and retired boxer Bernard Hopkins.
One of those in the audience was Fashionette White, an in-home nurse, along with her daughter Davia. She said she knows “plenty of people who are doing life for being wrongfully accused.”