Friday, November 24, 2017

Meek Mill: An Entitled Rapper, Not a Poster Boy for Unfair Treatment by the Criminal Justice System

So, I read this today.


 This month, Meek Mill, a 30-year-old rapper, was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating the terms of his probation — probation he’s been on since he was a teenager, all stemming from charges of gun and drug possession. What did he do wrong? He popped a wheelie on a motorcycle.

Prosecution is much easier in drug charges brought against Meek Mill, and it’s even easier when the criminal defendant is a young black man. Juries aren’t sympathetic, and there’s no “he said, she said.” As much as we like to think justice is blind, our criminal justice system replicates the same bigotries at play everywhere else in the United States, including racism and sexism. Conviction rates for black men are higher than they are for white men.

The wealthy and powerful in America — i.e. the overwhelmingly white and male — are playing a different game. They have the resources to pay teams of lawyers, not just to defend them in court but to intimidate anyone who might challenge them.


Mill appeared in court last Monday after a pair of arrests this year -- one for popping wheelies on a dirt bike and another for getting into a fight -- that violated his probation from a 2008 gun and drug case. He was sentenced to another five months in prison in 2014 after he violated his probation by performing out of state. 
He received to two to four years in state prison last week by Judge Genece Brinkley, who cited a failed drug test and the rapper's noncompliance with a court order restricting his travel.
Okay, so far, I am thinking, well, the court's decision by Judge Brinkley seems a bit over the top. Maybe this IS really a case where a white judge in our criminal justice system is being unfair to someone just because of his color. But, having been around the media agenda-driven reporting for enough decades to question the story being pushed to the public, I did two things: went to YouTube to see to Meek Mill's rap videos and I went through enough pages of Google to find the actual detailed history of Mill's criminal past (and it wasn't part of any major media story...what a surprise). First of all, I kind of like his rap...I thought he had a unique style. Still depressing stuff about gangs and shootings and going to jail, but I can see why he is popular. So this tells me he has some talent and he had a real future in the music world. This means he should have valued that more than breaking the law, regardless of how "small" the infraction. I haven't been arrested in my entire life and neither have any of my nonwhite children, so I do not understand when people say breaking the law, well, you know, it happens. No, it doesn't unless you really work at it.

Judge Brinkley

Now, to the Meek Mill's criminal history and his interaction with the criminal justice system. Let's start with this judge who put him back behind bars. She's black. Yeah, that surprised me, too, because it took me a long time to find a photo of her (guess why) and I just had a picture in my head of a white lady. I bet most people think she is a white and a racist, but, no, she is black and she seemed to actually liked Mill and want him to do well. In fact, she gave him far more breaks than I think she should have.

Here is the rundown of what actually happened (courtesy of Pitchfork):

Meek was first arrested in 2007, when he was 19 and still known as Robert Williams. A year and a half later, Brinkley convicted him of seven charges relating to guns and drugs. She sentenced him to 11-and-a-half to 23 months in county prison, plus seven years of probation. In a court opinion obtained by Pitchfork, the judge wrote that although prosecutors had urged a tougher sentence, she “wanted to give him an opportunity to turn his life around from selling drugs and instead focus on his musical talent.”

Meek was out of county jail less than six months later, paroled to house arrest but ordered to earn his GED and undergo drug treatment. In December 2009, Brinkley ended his house arrest but kept him on probation. Over the next two years, the judge found that Meek tested positive for marijuana and unspecified opiate use more than once, but she didn’t hold him to be in violation of his probation.
In 2011, though, Brinkley did cite him for his first violation—for testing positive, again, for opiate use. His next hearing was postponed several times throughout the next year, while Meek was out ontour. Finally, on November 2, 2012, the judge ordered Meek to take a drug test within three days; he didn’t show.
When Meek returned to court two weeks after that, Judge Brinkley suspended his permission to travel outside of Philadelphia County until after his next court date, two months later. At that time, she barred him from scheduling travel for another nearly four months. Two months in, Brinkley found Meek in violation for leaving the county again. She ordered him to sign up for an etiquette course, “in order to address his inappropriate social media use and crude language in the courtroom,” she later wrote. Multiple Philadelphia lawyers told Pitchfork they had never heard of a judge ordering a defendant to take etiquette classes, though they noted that for better or worse, judges’ sentences are sometimes creative. For the next year, Meek attended court hearings every three months.
Before long, Meek landed a third probation violation, again related to leaving the county. In July 2014, Brinkley sentenced him to three to six months in county jail, plus five years of probation. He served nearly five months in Hoffman Hall prison. In prison, he was ordered to take anger management and parenting classes (he has a young son), as well as undergo drug and alcohol counseling. The next year, the judge did approve Meek’s request to travel as far as Dubai, but she later rescinded earlier permission for him to visit Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
On December 10, 2015, Meek received his fourth probation violation for not reporting to his probation officer, traveling outside of Philadelphia without permission, and submitting a sample of water instead of urine for a drug test. The judge sentenced Meek to six to 12 months of house arrest plus six years of probation. Brinkley also ordered Meek to perform 90 days of community service, and she barred him from working or traveling while on house arrest. Meek appealed.
On September 8, 2017, Judge Lillian Harris Ransom ultimately denied that appeal. All this serves as the backdrop for Meek’s current situation. Earlier this month, Brinkley found Meek in violation of his probation for a fifth time. She cited a failed drug test, violation of court-ordered travel restrictions, and two misdemeanor arrests: for reckless driving involving a motorcycle in Manhattan and for an alleged altercation at the St. Louis airport. Charges in the New York case are set to be scrubbed from Meek’s record in April if he avoids further violations; the St. Louis charge was reportedly dropped. Regardless, she gave him the two- to four-year sentence.
That sentence went against the recommendations of both the prosecutor and the probation officer in the case. But on November 8, Meek checked in at Camp Hill state prison.

So, clearly Mill is a repeat offender, breaking his parole over and over, doing drugs and trying to cheat on the testing, thumbing his nose at the judge who is trying to give him chance after chance. Seems to me, the judge finally got fed up with him and decided he was unrepentant as to his flouting of the law and threw the book at him. I think he got what he had coming. From where I am sitting, the judge was far TOO lenient, gave him far more breaks than any other offender would have gotten simply because he was a musician. If Mill had been just a drug dealing, gangbanging grocery store stocker, he would have been in prison for a good long time.

But, yet again, we have Colin Kaepernick, Hollywood, and the media making a less-than-deserving idiot a poster boy for racial discrimination instead of someone truly deserving of representing some problems that should be intelligently examined, issues that our country does struggle with. Instead of working together as citizens to improve our communities, these rabblerousers are making things worse, stoking a race war, making people take sides, and worse of all, encouraging everyone to act like uncivilized children instead of mature adults. 

Grow up, everyone. Please. Before our country becomes the poster child for "Lord of the Flies."

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
November 24,2017


highmyope1955 said...

I agree with you; this judge has done her very best with this man. She obviously believes in rehabilitation and gave him several chances. Now he has blown it.

I do agree that the judicial systems in the USA and in the UK need careful scrutiny. In the UK nowadays, if a woman accuses a man of sexual assault, no matter how many years ago, he is in serious trouble. There no longer seems to be any requirement for evidence or credible witnesses; it is only necessary to obtain a conviction. Fortunately, Mark Pearson was able to enlist the help of Erin Pizzey, so was acquitted of a charge that should never have been brought to court.

Pat Brown said...


I, too, am very concerned about conviction without evidence. A young man was recently released from prison after ten years when his accuser admitted he didn't rape her. I am still baffled how he was convicted and received such a long sentence when there was not a shred of physical evidence or any evidence other than her claim. As to the many women we now have making rape or sexual assault claims decades after the supposed incident, I find this appalling. There is supposed to be a cap on time due to the fact it becomes impossible to defend oneself when too much time has passed; witnesses die, memories are limited, physical evidence will vanish, video will no longer be available, etc. Making such claims should not be acceptable nor encouraged. Although it may well be true that a victim was traumatized at the time and did have the wherewithal to come forth, that does not eliminate what should be the legal responsibility to do so (for the purpose of proper investigation and prosecution and defense and for the safety of others).

rob said...

Pat, I personally believe a big part of the problem is that the 'role-models' (if they can really be called that) of black youths don't teach respect of authority, parents, teachers, LE, etc. They teach them to go in the face of someone in authority and show them that 'you don't tell me what to do.'
The NFL players who think kneeling is the best they can do, maybe should go out into the community and teach a different lesson, especially when 99% of their income is coming from white ticket buyers.
And I'm not speaking for all black youth, some of the best, most respectable teens I know are black, pretty much because of their parents training. But I know many more that have the biggest chip on their shoulder about their life, and really don't even know why.
Our country is in sad shape, it sickens me.

CptKD said...

NVM going out into the 'Community' ... They DO Enough of THAT, already!
Send them into the MILITARY - Let them do a stint THERE & They can have THEIR 'Pick & Choose' as to which BRANCH of the SERVICES They Wish to 'Meet' this - For lack of a better way of wording it ...

Certificationship Training!
The 'Tour' With the Military!
No Problem ...

Option 2:

From LE OFFICER & Let's include HERE, (for the LAZY A$$es) 911-Operator & I use 'THIS' one in PARTICULAR
On account of it being, ONE of the MOST Stressful, HIGH-STRESS, HEART-WRENCHING of this Field & Without THEM, ALL of Emergency Services WOULD Crumble!!

LAST but not LEAST & We'll
# it 3 (For good measure)

If NONE OF THE ABOVE Seem 'Suitable' - Palatable, or 'Fitting' to Any of these Professional Athletes Likings ...
THEN, they ARE Left but ONE of TWO Options!

2. One belonging to that of the STATE Of CORRECTIONS (For Whom you play! Boooo 👎)

I'm sure we could go on ...
I know that I could ...
Easily entertaining Doctors & Nurses!
I watch THEM now, as my own Mom FIGHTS For her Life & They WORK Tirelessly - Relentless & So, encouraging to her ...
They DESERVE to be paid MILLIONS!
They gave the poor Woman "6" pitiful, measely 'MONTHS' to Live ...
She's STILL 'Fighting' 📣Yay!
As we're closing in on the 6th YEAR!

IDK anymore ...

What I do KNOW is,
Time to be DONE With that one, already!
The Race, Sex & 'I am BETTER than you, so I CAN' Cards - NEED to burned from that deck of cards - Amongst the MANY Others ...
It can't happen soon enough!