Meek Mill pleaded guilty to a single gun charge from 2007, as prosecutors decided to drop all other charges against him. The decision ends a tumultuous, 12-year legal battle, NBC 10 in Philadelphia reports.
Mill was back in court Tuesday after the Pennsylvania Superior Court threw out his 2008 conviction on drug and gun charges and granted the rapper a new trial based on new evidence of alleged police corruption.
During the hearing, prosecutors announced their decision to drop all other charges against Mill, citing his recent work as an advocate for criminal justice reform. In regards to the sole gun charge, they added, “He was adult enough to admit he had a gun, so we feel this is appropriate.”
Following the hearing, Meek Mill reportedly left the Philadelphia courthouse as the theme song from Rocky played. The rapper addressed a small crowd of fans, proclaiming he was no longer on probation and adding, “I wanted to thank everybody whoever stood for me. I’m very thankful from the bottom of my heart.”
#Breaking: "Meek freed, I'm not on probation" @MeekMill thanks supporters after final court hearing where he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without a license from his initial arrest in 2007. Tuesday's plea ends the rapper's 12 year legal battle. https://t.co/CMUG5zZ3nJ pic.twitter.com/YCyexQkUrV
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) August 27, 2019
Meek Mill also shared a statement following the hearing: “I’m extremely grateful that my long legal battle is finally behind me and I appreciate that it has sparked a much-needed discussion about probation reform and the inequalities that exist within our two Americas. I have always told the truth — that as a teenager, who saw many around me die from senseless gun violence, I carried a gun for protection. I take responsibility for that and — in conjunction with my work on the REFORM Alliance — I’ll continue to use my platform to make communities safer and reform our criminal justice system.”
Meek Mill’s legal saga began when he was arrested in 2007 at age 19 on drug and gun charges, and his subsequent conviction earned him an eight month prison sentence, plus five years of probation. Various low-level violations prolonged Meek’s probationary sentence, and in 2017 he was hit with another two to four years in prison for a pair of non-violent offenses. The rapper became a focal point for criminal justice as his case dragged on and, following his release from prison, the rapper took up the mantle as well.
Major factors in Meek’s 2008 conviction ultimately being thrown out were the suspect circumstances surrounding his arrest, conviction, and years on probation. The rapper’s arresting officer subsequently resigned after the Philadelphia Police Department Board of Inquiry found him guilty of theft and lying, while Judge Genece Brinkley was accused of questionable behavior during the years she oversaw Meek’s case.