Rapper Meek Mill's Conviction Overturned
|thenorthstar||Jul 26, 2019|
Rapper Meek Mill’s 2008 conviction for drug possession and carrying a firearm was recently overturned and he was granted a new trial by a Pennsylvania appeals court.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that new evidence proved the officer who testified at the previous trial against the rapper, who was born Robert Rihmeek Williams, was not credible. The rapper was released from prison in Chester, Pennsylvania on April 2018, The New York Times previously reported.
After the 2008 trial, it was revealed that the officer who provided the sole testimony against Mill had committed theft and lied to the FBI in 2005. In a statement following the appeals court decision, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) agreed that the 32-year-old rapper deserved a new trial.
“The District Attorney’s Office is pleased that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has validated our position that Robert Rihmeek Williams deserves a new trial before a court that has no appearance of partiality,” the statement reads. “The DAO led by District Attorney Larry Krasner is currently reviewing the opinion issued today and will begin to review options. We have no further comment on this matter at this time.”
The rapper thanked the court for overturning the conviction and giving him a new trial in a statement on the REFORM Alliance advocacy Twitter page. He also thanked his attorneys, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and rapper Jay-Z for advocating for the case to be overturned.
“The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I’m ecstatic that justice prevailed,” the rapper wrote. “Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don’t have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them.”
“I’m committed to working with my team at the Reform Alliance to change these outdated laws and fix our broken criminal justice system,” the rapper continued.
Before his case was overturned, it was announced that Mill and Jay-Z are teaming up to launch Meek’s Dream Chasers label. The two legendary rappers signed papers on Tuesday, July 23 at Roc Nation’s headquarters in New York City.
Meek will oversee the new label, sign and develop artists, and build a recording studio for the label’s artists to use. He will reportedly handle all of the label’s operations, creative strategy, marketing, and business affairs.
“Everything he has done leading up to this point shows he is ready to [lead] the next generation. We look at the big picture — this is way beyond signing artists and having hot records,” Jay-Z said in a statement.
Mill has also taken a stance against discrimination. In May, he announced he was filing a lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas after he was denied access to the hotel’s pool. The rapper was accused of trespassing and then threatened with arrest if he did not leave. “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, along with video of him speaking with hotel representatives.
Mill was reportedly at the hotel during Memorial Day weekend to support DJ Mustard who has a residency at the Marquee Nightclub and was hosting a party. The Cosmopolitan Hotel told the news station that the city fire marshal informed hotel representatives that the party had reached capacity before Mill arrived. Security at the event claimed that Mill “refused to depart [the] property and was then informed that any continued attempt would result in trespassing.”
“At The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the safety and security of our guests is our top priority,” the statement from the hotel read, according to USA Today.
“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, stating security reportedly told him that he would be “arrested for just stepping on their property even if I went to eat on the property.”
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.