The outcry over Meek Mill’s unexpectedly harsh prison sentence earlier this week continues, with Jay-Z leading the way. The rapper assailed the sentence on Facebook late Monday, and Tuesday spoke out about it during his concert in Dallas.
“He caught a charge when he was, like, 19,” Jay told the crowd. “He’s 30 now. He’s been on probation for 11 years. F—ing 11 years. Judge gave him two to four years because he got arrested for being on a bike and popping a f—ing wheelie.”
Specifically, Mill — born Robert Rihmeek Williams — was arrested in March at St. Louis International Airport and charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with two airport employees. In August, he was stopped for reckless endangerment while driving his motorcycle in New York City. Both cases were dropped after he agreed to fulfill community service requirements.
But Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley cited a failed drug test and unapproved travel, stemming from a 2008 gun and drug case as cause for the sentencing. Brinkley said she had given Mill multiple chances but he hasn’t complied. According to evidence from probation officers, the musician tested positive for narcotics numerous times.
The sentence was unexpected as prosecutors recommended Mill not be imprisoned for the probation violations, mentioning he’s been drug-free since January and has complied with most requirements of probation. Mill’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle, has vowed to appeal the sentencing.
Brinkley has worked with Mill since nearly a decade ago, when the rapper was convicted and jailed for eight months and later placed on probation in 2008 for gun and drug charges. In 2016, he was placed under house arrest for 90 days after violating travel restrictions.