Meek Mill To Be Released After Spending Five Months In Prison
After Meek Mill received a wave of support from JAY-Z and Beyonce to criminal justice reform groups like #cut50, his freedom was granted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday (Apr. 24). The exact time for his release is rumoured to be this evening, The New York Times reports. He was initially sentenced to two to four years for a probation violation.
The Philadelphia native, born Robert Williams, issued a statement concerning his release on bail after spending five months in prison, thanking those that stood by his side and why his platform can help change the course for others in his situation.
“I’d like to thank God, my family, my friends, my attorneys, my team at Roc Nation including JAY-Z, Desiree Perez, my good friend Michael Rubin, my fans, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time," Williams stated. "While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive. To the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice – not only for my case, but for others that have been wrongfully jailed due to police misconduct. Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues. In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career.”
Per a statement issued to VIBE, Williams' lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said Judge Genece Brinkley received a mandate to issue his release. Brinkley has been presiding over Williams' case since 2008. The 30-year-old rapper was first sentenced at the age of 18 for gun and drugs possession. Since then, he's been on probation.
In addition to Williams' upcoming release, Tacopina said his legal team is "pleased that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has noted that Judge Brinkley may opt to remove herself from presiding over any further proceedings in Meek’s case in the interests of justice. Meek is excited to be reunited with his family, and we, along with Meek, intend to continue to shine the light on a justice system in need of reform to prevent any other citizen from being put through what Meek has endured.”
The news garnered reactions from his supporters, including Kevin Hart who recently visited Williams in prison this afternoon. "Stand up Philadelphia!!!!!" Hart captioned an Instagram post. During his visit, the comedian also shared with ABC 6 that Williams' case will "shine a light on" other plights in the criminal justice system.
"You've got to take some good with the bad, and I think the good in this situation is he now has a platform and I think, coming out, he will be able to use that platform to shine a light on how corrupt this system is and keep the younger generation from going through this," he said.
T.I. also shared a phone conversation he had with Williams upon his pending release: