A judge’s decision to keep Meek Mill in jail Monday was swiftly shut down by the rapper’s lawyer.
Meek, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was sentenced in November to two to four years in prison for a probation violation stemming from a 2008 drug and weapon possession conviction. He previously served eight months, with Philadelphia prosecutors having said they didn’t oppose his release after claims that his arresting officer lied under oath. However, Judge Genece E. Brinkley refused his release on grounds that his sentence was “not manifestly excessive.” Brinkley’s statements do not hold weight with Joe Tacopina, Meek’s lawyer, who believes she has a personal bias against the rapper.
“In spite of the recommendations from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, which was supported by Governor Tom Wolf, the judge continues to stand alone in supporting Officer Reginald Graham’s perjured testimony as well as his criminal behavior that has been documented,” Joe Tacopina, Meek’s lawyer, said to the New York Daily News. “Fortunately, we have already filed petitions with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to secure his release, and we remain hopeful that the Court will right this injustice very soon.”
Tacopina had asked for Brinkley to recuse herself from the case last month over allegations of inappropriate professional interactions with Meek Mill. Several claims said that the judge had once requested that the rapper re-record a Boyz II Men song and once tried to sway him to switch management companies.
Brinkley has denied the claims, according to the Daily News.
The case took a turning point when Reggie Graham, the police officer who arrested Meek Mill ten years ago, was accused of lying about the rapper’s arrest. Prosecutors thought this discovery about Graham weakened the case against Mill, but Brinkley disagreed with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Tacopina explained.
“The DA came out with the position last week that [Mill] should not be in jail because his conviction is likely to be overturned,” he told the Daily News last month. “We then sent a letter to Judge Brinkley asking to at least get him out on bail. She hasn’t even responded. She’s not being responsive at all. It’s just what she does.”
Pressures have been mounting across the nation in recent months to free Meek Mill, TMZ reported.