In August of 2017, rapper Meek Mill was arrested for reckless endangerment after police viewed an Instagram post of him riding his dirtbike through New York City streets. The incident led to a controversial and unusually harsh sentence for parole violation that saw him serving five months in prison — amid public outcry from Jay-Z, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and many others — before he was released.
Mill has continued to speak out against what he feels is an unjust criminal-justice system, and today published an op-ed in the New York Times that was accompanied by an even more strongly worded video. An excerpt appears below; see both in their entirety here.
“Like many who are currently incarcerated, I was the victim of a miscarriage of justice — carried out by an untruthful officer, as determined by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, and an unfair judge.
“My crime? Popping a wheelie on a motorcycle in Manhattan. Even though the charge was dismissed in a New York City court, a Philadelphia-based judge still deemed my interaction with the police to be a technical violation of my probation — stemming from a 2007 arrest — and sentenced me to two to four years in prison despite the fact that I didn’t commit a crime. The judge also refused my motion for bail, calling me a ‘danger to the community’ and a ‘flight risk.’
“The ordeal cost me my most precious commodity: my freedom. I served five months. With the help of friends and the intervention of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I was released on bail this past April and was able to resume my life. …
“Soon, some friends and I will be announcing a foundation dedicated to achieving real change. In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining us and lending your support to solving what is the moral crisis of our time, please visit www.reformnow.com and sign up.”