Meek Mill spoke with Lester Holt for a televised interview on NBC Nightly News that aired on Thursday. The pair spoke via telephone about the rapper’s legal situation and what he hoped to do in the future.
The rapper has been in prison since November serving a two-to-four year sentence for violating probation on a 2008 conviction for drug and gun counts. He told Holt that he never thought he’d be on probation this long. “It was always a thought in the back of my mind that 10 years of probation would bring me back to prison because a technical violation is police contact,” he said in a promo for the segment. “Like, police contact you don’t have to be charged with a crime. you don’t have to be found guilty of a crime; you can be sentenced to what you were sentenced for like – what I was facing. [Judge Genece E. Brinkley] said I was facing five to 10 years, she said. So, if I was stopped by the police for jaywalking, legally she has the right to give me five to 10 years.”
Holt also spoke with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner during the segment. Krasner told Holt the system needed fixing. “Across the board, African-Americans are ending up with worse sentences over and over than white people, even if you control for the type of offense,” he said. Krasner has previously filed motions stating his office was unopposed to the rapper’s release from prison on bail.
In addition to Krasner and Meek Mill’s probation officer supporting his release request on bail, many high profile people have shown their support. On Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney visited Meek Mill in prison and the mayor told CBS Philly that “he certainly deserves bail.” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin visited the rapper the day before the mayor to show their support. Last month, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf said in a statement that he supported releasing the rapper.
“We now have information that was not available to the judge at the beginning, and that is in no way her fault, indicating that there are questions about the integrity of the conviction, and those questions are substantial,” Krasner added during the segment, presumably referring to questions surrounding Meek Mill’s 2008 conviction that stem from allegations that the arresting officer, Reginald V. Graham, gave false testimony.
Holt asked Meek Mill what his future holds after prison. “I think God delivered me a job to help people, helping minorities that come from these situations like myself,” the rapper said. “I say don’t show me no pity because this is my life. This is what I’ve been going through and I think God put me in this position to be able to do a show with Lester Holt and open up eyes for other young black men.”