Meek Mill is awaiting an April appeal in a probation case that’s captured national attention. Hopes are high that he will be granted freedom after news broke that Reginald Graham, the arresting officer and sole witness in Meek’s 2007 gun and drug case, is on a list of people that the Philadelphia DA’s office feel are unfit to testify. The news unveiled in a recent Rolling Stone feature should further bolster his chances and may prove that he should never have been arrested in the first place. Graham testified that he saw a pre-fame Meek serving a confidential informant crack at 4:45 PM on January 23rd, 2007. Meek says he never sold crack. His family also denies the claim and allege one crucial point: he was nowhere near where ex-Officer Graham said he was.
“Our cousin Thelonious was on trial [in Center City Philadelphia, three miles away] and at least 20 of us were there [from 10 AM to 5 PM],” Meek’s cousin Ikeem Parker told Rolling Stone. “With rush hour, Meek couldn’t have got home till 6 p.m.” Still, Graham got a warrant to search the house Meek was staying in with family. They raided the home, beat the residents (including Meek, who alleges that his head was used as a battering ram to open the door) and eventually charged Meek with 19 counts – including an allegation that he raised a gun at Graham.
“I never saw Mr. Williams lift his gun and point it at Officers Graham and Johnson,” ex-detective Jerrod Gibson recently wrote in a sworn affidavit to Meek’s legal team. “I observed Mr. Williams lift the gun out of his waistband in a motion that suggested he was trying to discard [it].”
Graham’s former Narcotics Field Unit partner Jeffrey Walker also scoffs at the notion, saying “that boy [Graham] lied like it was second nature! If you had your weapon drawn, [Meek’s] never pulling a gun. The second he raised that weapon, he would’ve had one breath to live. Straight up and down, they’d have aired him out. We’re talking closed casket, not open.”
“From 2002 on, we were basically stickup guys,” Walker told Rolling Stone. “We’d lie about probable cause, get an ADA to write it, and knock down the door of a known supplier.”
Unfortunately, Meek’s family couldn’t afford the high-powered legal team that he has now. His then-lawyer wasn’t privy – and didn’t inquire – to the circumstances that could have vindicated him. Additionally, they didn’t pounce on the fact that Graham never lab-tested the alleged crack that may or may not have even been seized from Meek. The legal experts that Rolling Stone talked to agreed that the missing lab test would have been an instant “mistrial.” Without proof of the drug deal, there would have been no grounds for a warrant on Meek’s home – and no gun charge.
It seems like every step of the way, Training Day-level injustice occurred. Despite his rough circumstance, Meek is soldiering through his sentence. He’s doing it without one major thing that makes or breaks many incarcerated people – visits from family.
He told Rolling Stone, “I won’t let them come. If they see me like this – f*cked-up beard, hair all ganked – then it’s like I’m really in here. Which I’m not.” It looks like Meek is subscribing to Jay-Z’s “lock my body can’t trap my mind” ethos, which is better than allowing himself to be consumed by his reality. He told Rolling Stone that allowing his spirits to become as low as his circumstance would be “letting [Judge Genece Brinkley] win.”