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Rev. Al Sharpton Pens Letter Of Support For Meek Mill

The longtime activist called for a rally behind the embattled MMG rapper and addressed Judge Brinkley and her contested removal from the rapper's case. 

Since Meek Mill's incarceration began in November over a probation violation, he's received a wave of support from his fans and public figures, namely Reverend Al Sharpton.

The longtime activist recently penned a letter of support for the embattled MMG rapper and addressed Judge Genece Brinkley's contested removal from the "Pray For 'Em" rapper's case. "It is generally held in all judicial circles that the administration of justice must be fair, equal and impartial," Sharpton wrote. "It is also generally accepted in the law, that the appearance of bias or lack of impartiality, is as serious as actual bias or lack of the ability to be fair and impartial."

Since the age of 18, Mill has remained on probation and landed back in jail on separate occasions for allegedly failing to follow its regulations. His lawyer, Joe Tacopina, says the 30-year-old shouldn't have been on probation for this long and mentions that this stipulation is one of the many reasons why the criminal justice system traps people when their lives are far removed from the crime.

"She’s [Judge Brinkley] extending it for technical violations because she wants to have her hand over him. She has some weird obsession with this guy," Tacopina said to VIBE earlier this year. "Maybe it’s because they grew up in the same neighborhood in Philly. He’s become one of the biggest stars coming from Philadelphia in decades, and maybe she just wants to have her thumb over him."

Mill's support system and legal team hope to have the Dreams Worth More Than Money artist home for Christmas.

Read Sharpton's full statement below.

Honorable Shelia A. Woods-Skipper
President Judge
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
Philadelphia City Hall, Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Re: Honorable Judge Genece Brinkley

Dear President Judge Woods-Skipper:

I write to you as someone with deep respect for the Judicial Process and as a true believer in fairness and equality in criminal justice matters. You may have read of my recent involvement with the case matters of Robert Rihmeek Williams (professional known as “Meek Mill”). He is currently serving a probation violation and was sentenced to a term of incarceration, over the objection of both the local prosecutor and the assigned probation officer, by Judge Genece Brinkley. You may also be aware that I have publicly called for Judge Genece to be removed from Mr. Williams’ matter. This demand was generated by serious allegations of a conflict of interest with Mr. Williams.

It is generally held in all judicial circles that the administration of justice must be fair, equal and impartial. It is also generally accepted in the law, that the appearance of bias or lack of impartiality, is as serious as actual bias or lack of the ability to be fair and impartial. There have been credible allegations made concerning Judge Brinkley’s ability to be fair and impartial in the matters concerning Mr. Williams.

If you know anything about me, I don’t just speak up when someone of note or celebrity has a problem with equal justice under the law. I have tried throughout my ministry and advocacy to always be the voice for the voiceless, and an activist for the underrepresented. Moreover, as Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. held throughout his life, a threat to justice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere!!.

Mr. Williams, in my view, has been subjected to an injustice. Judge Brinkley has been deaf to the questions raised about her potential conflicts of interest with Mr. Williams or simply has disregarded her oath of office to carry out her duties in a manner consistent with the Code of Conduct for Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. I understand the gravity of raising such an issue concerning the conduct of a Judge. I am compelled in this matter to speak truth to power.

I believe that Judge Brinkley must be removed from the case involving Mr. Williams and a Judge assigned who can conduct and preside in a fair and impartial manner.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Very truly yours,

Reverend Al Sharpton
President & Founder
National Action Network

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Michelle Obama Interviews Barack Obama For First Episode Of New Podcast

Michelle Obama kicked off her podcast this week with a very special guest. The former first lady welcomed her husband, Barack Obama, for a lengthy discussion about their childhood, as it relates to race and class, experiences that shaped their “notion of community,” and more.

Barack tweeted a photo from the podcast on Thursday (July 29) with the caption,. “Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks — and this one’s up there with the best.”

Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks—and this one’s up there with the best. Take a listen to the very first episode of Michelle’s podcast: https://t.co/JEaVgT6GPC. pic.twitter.com/oRn1figrRK

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 29, 2020

The podcast aims to give listeners deeper insight into Mrs. Obama's life. “I spent a lot of time thinking, talking with friends and family,” she explained of her life after the White House. “Really just being, if you know what I mean. I reflected back on my time in the White House of course, but I went even deeper. I looked back at the whole arc of my life.

“In this first season, you’ll be hearing me talk with some of the people I’m closest with — my mom…my brothers…friends..colleagues. And I wanted to start at the most basic level. In these episodes, we’ll be discussing the relationships that make us who we are. Sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves or how we navigate our health and our bodies at various points in our lives,” said Mrs. Obama. “In other episodes we’ll be talking about what the challenges and the joys of being a parent or a spouse…the growth we gain from leaning on colleagues and mentors…the friends that help us sort through the toughest times.”

Click here to listen to the first episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast.

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YG attends the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
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YG Recalls Police Pulling Guns On His Children During Home Raid

YG has had his share of run-ins with police, but one incident was particularly harrowing for the Compton native. In an interview with The Morning Hustle, YG opened up about his home being raided and police pulling guns on his young daughters.

The incident occurred in January, a day after the  30-year-old rapper was briefly arrested for suspicion of robbery.  “They came through like four in the morning,” he recalled. “We asleep, the helicopter came around and all that..they bang the door in trying to get in the door, so I go downstairs, I open the door…boom! They drew [guns] on me. That’s normal, but my kids at the time [were] 4 years old and 6 [months old]. They were upstairs in the room with their mama.”

Cops went upstairs where his children were in the room with their mother. “They go up in the room and they got the big AK’s all up in my little kids’ faces [yelling] ‘Don’t move! I’m like ‘bro, what the f*ck is ya’ll doing? Ya’ll got me f*cked up! They doing this to my little kids…and these are little girls, you know what I’m saying?

“I’ve been through a lot of other stuff with the police but I’m from the streets though so it’s like I got a target on my back from that and I know that,” he continued. “When you from a certain area the police gon’ f*ck with you.”

YG added that he’s never been beaten by police, but at least two of his friends have been killed by cops. “It’s a lot of stuff that be going on with the police that don’t make the news, he said. “That activity [being targeted by police] became normal to us. [We’ve] dealt with that for a long time. It’s sad to say but when you’re Black, you feel like that’s what comes with being Black.”

The incident was the second time that police raided his home in the last year. In July 2019, authorities raided the residence in connection with a shooting investigation. YG was not involved in the investigation and was not home at the time.

Watch his full interview below.

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Naya Rivera Laid To Rest During Private Ceremony In Los Angeles

Glee star Naya Rivera was laid to rest during a private ceremony held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles last week, according to a death certificate obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday (July 30).

Rivera’s funeral date was July 24. Her cause of death is listed as an accidental drowning, and her date of death is July 13 -- five days after she went missing at Lake Piru in Ventura County, Calif.

The 33-year-old actress took her 4-year-old son, Josey, out for an afternoon on the lake on July 8. Mother and son were in the water when things went awry and Rivera lifted him back onto the boat.

Rivera drowned within minutes of being submerged in the lake, her death certificate states. Josey was found safely on the boat and was able to tell authorities what happened to his mother.

Days later, Rivera’s family broke their silence to thank those who recovered her body.

“We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her fiends, colleagues, and fans for your continued support,” the family said. “Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”

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