The FBI has reportedly launched an investigation into the judge presiding over rapper Meek Mill’s probation case. The focus is on Philadelphia Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced the “Wins & Losses” rapper to two to four years in prison for violating his probation.
“The feds have an interest in the judge and [her] potential relationships,” a source told Page Six Monday, Nov. 13. “This is an investigation looking into a possible extortionate demand. Undercover agents have been in the courtroom monitoring the Meek proceedings since April 2016.”
The report follows Meek’s attorney Joe Tacopina’s remarks that Brinkley, who has presided over Meek’s case stemming from a 2008 weapon and drug charge, has a “personal vendetta” against the MC. Tacopina, who said he could not to comment on the FBI probe, said that Brinkley wanted him to drop his Roc Nation management in favor of a Philadelphia manager, Charlie Mack, with whom Meek worked with early in his career.
A source told Page Six that Mack told Meek he knew Brinkley and could help his case. Mack said he’s never met Brinkley, whom Tacopina is trying to have removed from Meek’s case. Meanwhile, the FBI has also stated it won’t confirm or deny if Brinkley is under investigation. This report of comes on the heels of the Rally for Meek held in Philadelphia Monday evening.
As expected, celebrities like Rick Ross, Philadelphia 76ers icon Julius “Dr. J” Erving and members of the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at the Criminal Justice Center to lend their support amid chants of “Free Meek Mill.”
“We rally today because we all believe in him and that the punishment bestowed upon him is excessive, is cruel and it’s motivated by unsavory circumstances,” said Erving. “So this practice of jailing people when you feel like it against the recommendation of your own constituents — and in this case, it was a district attorney and it was his probation officer — that’s got to stop. Recuse the judge and let justice prevail.”
Black Men and Mass Incarceration
Ross mentioned such imprisonments where many believe the punishment doesn’t fit the crime is a regular thing for the Black community.
“This type of wrongful incarceration has unfortunately become a common code in urban cities throughout the U.S. But in Meek’s case it wasn’t simply a miscarriage of justice, it was an abortion of justice,” Ross tells the crowd. “This … feels personal I think the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, they need to take a second look at this bizarre sentencing and make sure this travesty of justice is fixed so that we can move forward and Meek Mill can move forward and go back to being a great father, a great leader, a great example, a great entrepreneur.”
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins also remarked on the criminal justice system’s impact on Black people.
“Since its inception, our criminal justice system has devoured Black and brown bodies,” he said. “And in this case, the matter in which our brother Meek Mill has been handled shines a light on the injustices that people — especially Black and brown people — face on the regular. Harsh sentencing, strict supervision and more importantly the huge disparities in the dealings of justice has eroded the faith of Black and brown communities in our criminal justice system.”
As Page Six reports Meek sits in solitary confinement, he doesn’t just have those who attended the rally lending their support.
Colin Kaepernick, who has become especially political since he kneeled during the national anthem last year, also spoke out.
“Meek Mill is a victim of this systemic oppression,” the free agent quarterback wrote on Instagram Monday. “Yes, there needs to be action surrounding sentencing reform, but there needs to also be action taken around abolishing the racialized norms of injustice that can lead to Meek Mill serving 2-4 years in prison for non-violent parole violations, and Brock Turner only serving 3 months in prison for three felony counts of sexual assault.”
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Roughly 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States, an increase of 1.9 million since 1972. America professes to be the land of the free, yet it has the world’s largest prison population – with one-quarter of the globes prisoners, and just 5% of the total population. Disproportionately America’s prisons are filled with Black bodies. This criminal (in)justice system, ripe with racial discrimination, stigmatizes, profiles, and targets young Black men for arrest at a young age, having its roots in their hyper-policed neighborhoods that they are raised in, and sadly extending into what should be a safe space—the classroom, via the school to prison pipeline. Meek Mill is a victim of this systemic oppression. Yes, there needs to be action surrounding sentencing reform, but there needs to also be action taken around abolishing the racialized norms of injustice that can lead to Meek Mill serving 2-4 years in prison for non-violent parole violations, and Brock Turner only serving 3 months in prison for three felony counts of sexual assault. 📸: @karlfergusonjr
Kevin Hart encouraged Meek supporters to sign a petition to get the rapper’s sentence reviewed.