Rev. Al Sharpton Visits Philadelphia Prisoner Rapper Meek Mill



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Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill, behind bars for parole violations, received support on Monday from Rev. Al Sharpton, who visited the rapper at Chester State Prison and left promising to use his influence to help Mill and other prisoners to stand up to the criminal justice system.

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"He is representative of many people in institutions like this , they do little or nothing, "Sharpton told a group of reporters on the side of a busy road in front of SCI-Chester after the two-hour meeting. "They are raped and their lives and businesses are in ruins." If you can do this to a successful artist like Meek Mill, you can do this to many across the country. "

The activist's press conference was held along the road because prison secretary John Wetzel did not allowed, said prison officials.

Sharpton said that Mill was not in solitary confinement and that it seemed to be working well under the circumstances. "He seemed very strong, he seemed very determined. It does not seem bitter, "said Sharpton, who was accompanied by Mill's attorney, Joe Tacopina." He's worried about his son. He wanted to make sure that his son and his mother were well. "

Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, and Tacopina reiterated their position that Philadelphia common-law court judge Genece E. Brinkley should reconsider his decision early. This month to sentence to spend two to four years in prison, and should be removed from the case.If the judge does not respond before December 5 to legal requests asking him to do so, they said, they will ask a higher court to rule On the subject.

Brinkley had convicted the rapper for violating his probation for a 2008 gun conviction drug conviction, and in sentencing Mill, she said, "I gave you rest after the holidays, and basically you just went through the nose in this court. "

But Sharpton said that the reasons cited by Brinkley for imprisoning Mill were petty crimes." For him, facing two or four years for that, violations not criminals, it's absolutely unthinkable, "Sharpton said. "But this is the way it operates in Pennsylvania for many, and this is the way it operates nationally." He said: "If you do not do anything else, Reverend, please talk to people. just from me & # 39; "

Sharpton said he considered it important to meet with Mill because the jailed rapper is among the thousands of prisoners across the country who "have been victims of abusive probation and parole systems that give rise to judges beyond necessary, of what is palpable and, in my judgment, of the ethical: to throw the lives of the people ".

Mill, 30, born Robert Williams and raised in Philadelphia, seemed stunned by the sentence, as was his fans across the country. The billboards have appeared in the city asking people to "join Meek Mill". Superstar Jay-Z wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the New York Times last week denouncing the sentence. NFL free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke to the rapper on the phone and then said that Mill was "humbled by the support people showed him."

"I'm human, I'm not perfect," Mill had told Brinkley before his decision. "I'm asking for mercy, you gave me the ladder to do what I have to do to prevail in my fight, I went so far that I can not go back."

The judge, who oversaw Mill's case since its inception, ordered him to attend the label school in 2013 and later that year imprisoned him for five months. for violating the terms of his probation sentence.

By revoking his parole and sending him to prison, Judge Brinkley noted that he had been arrested twice this year and had entered treatment for addiction to the narcotic Percocet. He also cited Mill and his managers for repeatedly scheduling concerts after his August 17 request to stop performances outside of Philadelphia or Montgomery County.

Mill pleaded guilty in New York City on charges of driving recklessly after being arrested for making wheelies and other stunts on a sand bike on city streets and then posting video of his online performance.

He was also arrested in March for fighting at a St. Louis airport, although those charges were dropped after he agreed to perform community service for the Philadelphia Veterans Association.

Brinkley also reported visiting the Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia after she ordered Mill to feed the homeless in the church as community service. She said she visited one night and discovered that she was not feeding the homeless, but sorting clothes.

"It was only when he realized that I came there to see how he decided to serve meals," Brinkley said.

But the District Attorney's Office and the probation officer in the case did not recommend incarceration.

"It is the first time in my career, as a prosecutor and defense attorney, when a judge took the recommendations of a probation officer and a district attorney and discarded them completely," Tacopina said, adding that he considered the case as a "parody of justice".

Born in South Philadelphia, Mill grew up in North Philadelphia; His father was murdered when he was 5 years old. He has infused his music with his experiences growing up in a poor, single-parent home. His career took off after his release from prison in 2009.

His third album, Wins and Losses quickly climbed to number 3 on Billboard's album list after its release this summer. His predecessor of 2015, Dreams Worth More Than Money entered the charts in the n. ° 1. Almost attention has been paid to his two-year romance with singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj, which ended this year.

The last time Mill went before Brinkley was in February 2016, for violating his probation for the fourth time in eight years. Brinkley put Mill, who was accompanied by Minaj, into 90-day house arrest and ordered him to wear an electronic control anklet.

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