Civil rights activist Rev. Al Shaprton reportedly met with Meek Mill in Pennsylvania’s Chester State Correctional Institution on Tuesday morning (Nov. 28), where he says the two had a “very blunt talk” concerning Meek’s current prison sentence and the flawed criminal justice system. Following the meeting, Sharpton spoke alongside the rapper’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, in a press conference about what went down.
Addressing a crowd of reporters outside of the corrections facility, Sharpton said he visited the rapper because he is a symbol of other Black men “victimized by abusive, probationary, parole systems that give room for judges to act way beyond what is necessary.” “If you can do this to a successful artist like Meek Mill, you can do this to many around the country,” Sharpton added. “He is representative of far more than his stardom, he is a symbol of the abuse of the system that will violate you over nothing and end up ruining the potential and the ability to move forward in life.”
Meek, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was reportedly sentenced to two to four years in state prison over a probation violation, which stemmed from his 2008 gun and drug conviction. While Meek’s sentence has sparked public outrage, Shaprton claims Meek was in high spirits during their meeting. He said the rapper appeared to be “very strong, determined and not bitter." The Dreamchasers artist also told Sharpton that his case is not about him, but everyone else dealing with the justice system.
Tacopina also spoke during the press conference, to announce that he filed an appeal two weeks ago requesting that Judge Genece Brinkley recuse herself from Meek’s case. Tacopina alleges the court judge “can’t be just and partial” considering her past acts of alleged misconduct.
Meek might be locked up, but he has undoubtedly made an impact. Since his sentencing, a Change.org petition has been launched, seeking the immediate evaluation and release of the rapper. The petition has garnered more than 400,000 signatures to date.
(Photos from left: Prince Williams/WireImage, Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)