Meek Mill’s Lawyer Says Judge Showed ‘Enormous Bias’ in Sentencing - My FrontPager

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Meek Mill’s Lawyer Says Judge Showed ‘Enormous Bias’ in Sentencing

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A lawyer for the rapper Meek Mill has accused a Philadelphia judge of inappropriate and “vindictive” behavior toward his client after she sentenced the rapper this week to two to four years in prison for probation violations.

Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who has overseen Meek Mill’s case since he was known by his given name, Robert Rahmeek Williams, scolded the rapper in court on Monday for the violations, which stemmed from a 2008 conviction.

“I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” she said.

The rapper, a 30-year-old Philadelphia native, was convicted in 2008 on charges related to the possession of guns and drugs, and served eight months in prison. He was then placed on probation for five years, a period that has been extended several times.

The violations include two arrests in the past year, the first for a fight at a St. Louis airport and the second for reckless driving while filming a music video in New York City. Charges were dropped in the first case and the rapper took a dismissal deal in the second. The judge also cited the rapper’s repeated scheduling of concerts in areas where she had barred him from performing.

In a phone interview Tuesday, a lawyer for Meek Mill, Joe Tacopina, said that Judge Brinkley had behaved inappropriately over the course of the case, saying, for example, that the judge had requested that the rapper include her name in a song and had given him unsolicited advice on who should manage him.

“She’s exhibited enormous bias,” he said.

Judge Brinkley did not respond to multiple messages requesting comment. Mr. Tacopina said that the rapper’s legal team would appeal the ruling.

This is the second time that Meek Mill has been sent to prison for parole violations related to the 2008 conviction. In July 2014, about a year after Judge Brinkley ordered him to take etiquette classes, he was jailed for five months, again for performing out of state without permission. He told Billboard that he spent much of that time in solitary confinement.

Judge Brinkley’s ruling Monday came after a prosecutor and a probation officer had recommended against prison time. Her decision set off protests from many of the rapper’s prominent supporters. On Facebook, Jay-Z called the sentence “unjust and heavy-handed.” (Meek Mill is signed to Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z.)

The repercussions from the 2008 conviction have cast a shadow over what has otherwise been a successful career for Meek Mill, an energetic, somewhat old-fashioned gangster rapper known for his work ethic. His third studio album, “Wins and Losses,” made its debut at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart in August.

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