The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office said it was “unopposed” to rapper Meek Mill‘s release from prison on bail, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A motion prosecutors filed on Wednesday stated there is a “strong likelihood” the rapper’s conviction would be reversed. The news came the same day Rolling Stone published an exclusive interview with Meek Mill from prison.
Meek Mill, whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, 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. The new motion cites that one question surrounding Meek Mill’s 2008 conviction stems from allegations that the arresting officer, Reginald V. Graham, gave false testimony. Graham was the only government witness during Meek Mill’s trial and was part of the search warrant that produced the alleged evidence against the rapper. The officer’s name has also been listed among police whom the District Attorney has identified as untrustworthy to testify.
In the appeals filed on behalf of the rapper, Meek Mill’s lawyers provided two affidavits from other officers – retired narcotics officer Jerold Gibson and ex-officer Jeffrey Walker – who allege that Graham lied, “both in general and specifically in Petitioner’s [Meek Mill’s] case.” Gibson corroborated with Meek Mill’s claim that Graham and other officers beat him during his arrest.
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Gibson and Walker also face questions of credibility. Gibson, who was fired from the police department in 2013, was subsequently sentenced to six months in jail for stealing from suspected drug dealers. Walker pled guilty to federal theft charges in 2014. However, Wednesday’s motion states that the officers’ statements contain “new and important information relating to the integrity of the original conviction.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and Meek Mill’s attorneys did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s requests for comment.
While this latest motion may seem encouraging for those supporting Meek Mill – which include numerous high-profile figures including Colin Kaepernick, Dr. Julius Erving, Rick Ross and T.I. – the final decision lies in the hands of Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who resided over the rapper’s initial conviction and the subsequent probation rulings that resulted in his jailing. Meek Mill’s legal team has been petitioning to have her removed on grounds of alleged ethical issues.
According to Meek Mill, each time he dropped a new record following the initial conviction, Brinkley would jail him for a violation or restrict his travel. Quest Research and Investigations (QRI), a firm that specializes in investigating wrongful convictions also discovered that Brinkley, who has owned and rented a number of Philadelphia properties, has sued and been sued by several tenants. “Brinkley files suspect suits and wins,” QRI co-founder Luke Brindle-Khym told Rolling Stone.
“There’s brothers locked down that did nothing to be here but piss off people like Brinkley,” Meek Mill told Rolling Stone while discussing the plight of he and some of his fellow inmates. One lawyer called her a “sadist,” another said, “Brinkley’s the judge you’d least want to be supervised by. Any failure to live by her rules will be punished.”
This is a developing story.