At last…you can put away all your #FreeMeek signs and t-shirts. Rapper Meek Mill, who has been jailed following multiple probation violations, has been ordered released from prison.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered his release, overruling Philadelphia Judge Genece Brinkley who, throughout the case, had faced frequent – and unfounded – claims of bias and requests to recuse herself.
Brinkley had denied Meek’s latest bail request and then delayed his next hearing for 60 days, according to the Washington Post.
Meek Mill, whose real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, had been in jail for five months after his latest probation violation. Meek was arrested twice in 2017 after years of having his probation on a 2007 gun charge extended due to multiple violations.
His first 2017 arrest was for a fight at an airport in St. Louis and the second came after he was seen on video doing dirt-bike stunts on the streets of Manhattan. He also tested positive for Percocet, violating the terms of his probation.
On Nov. 7, 2017, a fed up Brinkley said that Meek had repeatedly “thumbed his nose” at the court.
Meek begged for mercy, saying he did not intend to disrespect the court’s orders. Brinkley wasn’t having it and sent the rapper to prison for two to four years, against the recommendation of the assistant district attorney and Meek’s probation officer. They both recommended that he not be incarcerated.
The sentence set off a nationwide firestorm surrounding criminal justice reform and spawned a movement that led to #FreeMeekMill becoming a hashtag and rallying cry around Philadelphia.
Both the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers have shouted out Meek, along with countless activists, actors, and rappers. In fact, it was comedien Kevin Hart who posted on Instagram earlier today that he had just visited the rapper, who was being released from jail at any moment.
In a statement to TMZ, Meek thanked his supporter and addressed how he had the resources to fight the sentence that others may not have.
“Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” he said. “In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career.”