According to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office secretly put together a list of police officers who had issues with racial bias or brutality in order to prevent them being called to testify in court. Now, Meek Mill‘s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, argues that this list should give his client all the reason he needs to walk away from prison a free man.
Meek’s original arresting officer, Reginald V. Graham, is one of the names on the DA’s list of untrustworthy officers, which Tacopina says throws suspicion onto the whole case. “Across the justice system, there are many instances of people that are incarcerated being subsequently let out when police corruption is uncovered,” he told Complex earlier today. “This would certainly be one of those instances. I mean, there were 800 cases that were dismissed or overturned upon discovery of this group of officers who had been committing crimes, lying about circumstances of arrests, and falsifying documents. One of the officers is the same one who not only arrested Meek but made allegations that Meek has always denied. This is the only one that testified against Meek.”
The Inquirer notes that it’s not initially clear just why Graham was added to the DA’s list of suspect officers, but the list, which was intended for internal use of the DA’s office only, included a guideline that forbade prosecutors from calling officers on the list to testify without clearance from higher-ups.
While the DA’s office has yet to sort out the implications of the list’s existence and its subsequent discovery by journalists, Meek’s lawyer maintains that the presence of Graham’s name should have disqualified his original 2007 testimony that started Meek onto his ten-year collision course with the legal system and multiple probation violations.
“He’s always maintained that he never possessed any drugs and that he never pointed a gun at any police officers,” Tacopina told Complex. “He was beaten unconscious, so he knew this was the case, so he isn’t surprised by it. Obviously, he’s disappointed that the former District Attorney hid that information knowing that the only officer that testified against Meek—and made the allegations that he did against Meek—was someone on their so-called, do-not-fly list.”
Meek is currently serving 2-4 years in prison due to violating the terms of his probation.