Reverend Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, went to a Pennsylvania prison to meet rapper Meek Mill, who was jailed earlier this month for violating probation.
Standing with attorney Joe Tacopina, Sharpton addressed a crowd of reporters from the Chester State Correctional Institution in Chester, Pennsylvania after meeting with Mill and said he visited him because he represents people who have been "victims of abusive, probationary probation systems that result in judges acting beyond what is necessary. "  "If you can do this to a successful artist like Meek Mill, you can do this to many across the country," Sharpton said. "He is representative of much more than his stardom, he is a symbol of the abuse of the system that will violate you for nothing and end up ruining the potential and the capacity to advance in life"
Mill, whose reality is called Robert Rihmeek Williams, 30 years, he was sentenced to two or four years in state prison earlier this month for violating a parole agreement stemming from a conviction for possession of weapons and drugs in 2008. The judge of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia, Genece Brinkley said he would be eligible for parole after two years.
"I gave you rest after rest, and basically you pbaded your pulse in this court," he told Mill during the sentence, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mill was arrested and charged with minor badault in March after an altercation at St. Louis International Airport. In August, he was arrested in New York City and accused of reckless recklessness after posting videos on his social networks by riding a dirt bike without a helmet. The charges were canceled in both cases when Mill accepted community service. Prosecutors and Mill's probation officer had recommended to the judge that he not serve a sentence.
Sharpton, host of MSNBC's "Politics Nation," said he and Mill had a "very direct conversation," discussed the criminal justice system and their case. Sharpton also asked Judge Brinkley to reconsider and depart from the case. He said that Mill seemed "very strong, determined and not bitter" and Mill told him that people knew that this case is not about him, but about everyone.
Tacopina said they filed an appeal on the judgment two weeks ago, requesting Brinkley to reconsider her decision and withdraw from the case because "it can not be fair and partial." If there is no answer for December 5, said Tacopina, they will go elsewhere.
Earlier this month, in an interview with Billboard, Tacopina said Brinkley is "in love" with Mill and "crossed every line imaginable."
Brinkley oversaw Mill's case since 2007, after sentencing Mill to 23 months in prison on charges including possession of drugs and transporting an unlicensed firearm. In February 2016, Mill was placed under house arrest for 90 days for violating his probation.
Mill's sentence provoked outrage on the social networks, which generated the hashtag #FreeMeekMill and # Justice4Meek. A petition on Change.org calling Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to re-evaluate the case has garnered nearly 400,000 signatures.
Activists and celebrities, including rapper Drake and comedian Kevin Hart, have spoken out in support of Mill. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he spoke with Mill, who said he was honored by the support .
He spoke to Meek Mill and he wanted people to know in spite of his unfair situation, he was in good spirits and humble because of the support of the people I have shown him. We will continue to fight against the severe sentencing practices that have affected Meek and millions of other POCs for generations.
– Colin Kaepernick (@ Kaepernick7) November 20, 2017
In a Facebook post, rapper Jay -Z called the sentence "unfair and heavy-handed". He later said in a New York Times op-ed that Mill had been "harbaded" by the criminal justice system.
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