Fans, celebs gather in Philadelphia to support release of Meek Mill

By Ray Downs  |  Updated Nov. 14, 2017 at 5:57 AM
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Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Fans and celebrities gathered in Philadelphia Monday to support Meek Mill and demand criminal justice reform after the rapper was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating probation.

Gathering outside downtown Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center, fellow Rapper Rick Ross, 76ers basketball icon Julius Irving and Eagles star Malcolm Jenkins spoke at the event to advocate for Mill's release, reported NBC 10 Philadelphia.

"If it take Meek Mill to draw this attention, we gonna use Meek Mill to draw this attention, but it's gonna speak for so many others," Ross said during the event.

At one point during the rally, fans sang the intro to Mill's debut album, Dreams and Nightmares.

Mill, who was on probation for a 2008 gun charge for which he already served two years in prison, was sentenced to two to four more years in prison after Judge Genece E. Brinkley found he violated his probation after two arrests earlier this year on misdemeanor charges, which were later dropped.

But Mill's attorney, Joe Tacopina, accused Brinkley of having a "personal vendetta" against Mill after the rapper refused to grant her personal requests, including dropping his label to sign with a friend of hers and mentioning her name in a song.

Tacopina pointed out that both the prosecutor and Mill's probation officer did not recommend prison time for Mill.

The New York Post reported Monday that the FBI is investigating Brinkley.

Mill's sentence has sparked a debate on criminal justice, with many of the Philadelphia-born supporters arguing the sentence is a reminder that many Americans, in particular black men, receive unfair sentences.

Meanwhile, Mill has had the support of many other celebrities, including Jay-Z, who said the sentence was "unjust and heavy handed" and fellow Philadelphian Kevin Hart, who posted an Instagram video Saturday urging people to sign a petition asking for a re-assessment of Mill's sentence.

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