Last weekend’s controversial arrest of two black men at a Starbucks, at Meek Mill‘s hometown of Philadelphia, was already a sad example of racial profiling in America. But those same patrons could have faced even worse consequences if they had been on probation, as Meek was before his most recent sentence at Pennsylvania’s Chester State Correctional Institution. Meek explained this to he called into CNN Tonight‘s Don Lemon from prison, which you can watch above:
If I would have gotten locked up in Starbucks, just for sitting in a Starbucks, I would have got a technical violation. Legally a judge would be able to sentence me to two to four years, three to six years, five to ten years just for having police contact. I don’t think anyone should lose their freedom for not even committing a crime. … A lot of people get locked up for technical violations, and they lose their jobs, and they lose their family, their kids. They go away for six months at a time just for small mistakes, not for committing crimes.
Unfortunately, Meek speaks from experience. He was arrested twice in 2017, for being involved in a fight and “reckless endangerment” while popping wheelies on a dirt bike. Because of his extended probation from a conviction in 2008, he was sentenced to two to four years and was incarcerated in November. (Judge Genece E. Brinkley made that ruling, despite how Philly prosecutors and Meek’s probation officer didn’t recommend sending him back to jail.)
The two men arrested at the Starbucks were held for nine hours before they were released, according to The Washington Post.
Meek called in to CNN Tonight to react to news that the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office ruled in favor of a new trial and even releasing him on bail. The Wins & Losses star was cautiously optimistic because of how Brinkley has treated him before. “I don’t think she’s going to do anything in my favor, personally,” Meek says. “I’ve never had anything done in my favor in that courtroom, and it just brings my hopes all the way down when it comes to that courtroom.”