Meek Mill To Sue The Cosmopolitan Hotel for Racial Discrimination
|thenorthstar||May 30, 2019|
Rapper Meek Mill plans to sue a Las Vegas hotel after he was denied access to the hotel’s pool on May 25. Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, posted a video on Instagram about the incident. The 42-second video shows the rapper inside a vehicle speaking with hotel representatives. Mill is seen telling a hotel representative that he was accused of trespassing and told that he would be arrested if he did not leave the property.
“The Cosmopolitan Hotel .... and it’s a few other hotels that be doing this to Black entertainers because they don’t want too many Blacks on [their] property! Vegas notorious for this too [it's] not just me!” the rapper wrote on Twitter on May 25. Mill was reportedly at the hotel over Memorial Day weekend to support DJ Mustard, who has a residency at Marquee Nightclub and was hosting a party on Saturday, May 23, NBC News reported. In a statement to the news station, The Cosmopolitan said that the city fire marshal informed them that the party had reached capacity before the rapper arrived. Security staff at the party told Mill that he would not be allowed access because of the capacity issues, but the rapper “refused to depart property and was then informed that any continued attempt would result in trespassing."
The North Star has reached out to The Cosmopolitan Hotel but did not hear back in time for publication. In a statement to USA Today, the hotel reiterated that the incident was not racially motivated and had to deal with safety. "At The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the safety and security of our guests is our top priority," the statement read. "The recent situation regarding Meek Mill related to a matter of security, not race, and any reports citing otherwise are false. We pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment, with zero tolerance for discrimination. Under different circumstances, Meek Mill would be welcomed to the resort, but not at the compromise of his personal safety and the safety of our guests.”
Mill responded to the hotel’s statement on Twitter on May 28, noting that he was told he would be “arrested for just stepping on their property even if I went to eat on the property.” “And I don’t care about that casino I bring in millions every time my name mentioned on a Vegas casino event where I am always welcome ... but y’all not gone just treat us like shit and act like it’s normal. Put some respect on our race ‘please and thank you,’” Mill wrote in a second tweet.
The rapper’s representative, Didier Morais, confirmed to USA Today that Mill’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, will file a lawsuit on behalf of Mill. Other rappers are standing with Mill following the news of the incident. Rapper Yo Gotti said in a statement to the Washington Post that he has also faced discrimination by the Cosmopolitan and other hotels in Vegas.
“It’s a disgrace that these establishments continue to judge us by the color of our skin and our professions instead of recognizing our artistry and dedication to our communities,” Gotti’s statement said. “I stand with Meek Mill and all my peers in the hip-hop community that have been disrespected by places like the Cosmopolitan.” In April 2018, Mill was released from prison on bail after he was incarcerated for a 10-year-old drug and gun possession conviction, The New York Times previously reported. The rapper, who was serving time at a prison in Chester, Pennsylvania, was convicted in 2008.
Mill served eight months in prison and another five years on probation. In November 2017, a judge sentenced him to two to four years in prison for parole violations and two arrests, according to The Times. Prosecutors had said that the rapper’s case should be vacated because the officer that arrested Mill had stolen money in a drug bust and later lied to the FBI in 2005, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"I'd like to thank God, my family, my friends, my attorneys, my team at Roc Nation including JAY-Z, Desiree Perez, my good friend Michael Rubin, my fans, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time," Mill said in a previous statement to CNN when he was released. "While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive."
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.