The rapper’s lawyers had previously accused the judge of crossing ‘all conceivable lines’ in her treatment of the case
Last week, a Philadelphia judge sentenced rapper Meek Mill to a minimum of two years in prison for violating his probation terms. Both violations occurred in the past year: first, Meek was arrested following a fight in a St. Lous airport, and he was later arrested after a reckless driving incident in New York City. Both of these charges were dropped, and the prosecutors did not recommend jail time – nevertheless, Judge Genece Brinkley still sentenced Meek Mill to prison.
The sentence prompted various artists and industry figures to come forward in support of the rapper, while the #FreeMeekMill hashtag became a trending topic. “I’ve got to say something about a young man by the name of Meek Mill,” Jay-Z told fans at a concert in Dallas. “He caught a charge when he was, like, 19. He’s 30 now, he’s been on probation for 11 years. Fucking 11 years.”
Meek Mill’s lawyers Joe Tacopina and Brian McMonagle have both said they’ll appeal the sentence, and have questioned the judge’s motives. In separate interviews with TMZ and Billboard, Tacopina explained that Judge Brinkley handed Meek Mill his original sentence for a gun and drug case in 2008. He alleged that Brinkley has an unprofessional relationship with the rapper, describing her actions as crossing “all conceivable lines”.
“She showed up at his community service for the homeless people,” Tacopina told Billboard. “She showed up and sat at the table. She’s a judge. You could pull any judge in America and ask them how many times they’ve showed up at a community service for a probation and the answer is zero.” Furthermore, Tacopina alleged that Brinkley told Meek Mill to leave his label, Roc Nation, and sign with her friend Charlie Mack instead, and that she requested he record a cover of a Boyz II Men song (who Mack manages) that included a shout-out to her in the lyrics.
Tacopina also told The FADER that they were petitioning to have her removed in future appeals. “Based on her conduct over the years, we knew there was an issue,” he said. “His probation was supposed to end in 2013, and here it is, nearly 2018, and he’s still on probation for technical violations, travel violations – just doing work, which nobody gets violated for. It’s allowed her to extend her control over him for another five years.”
Now, Page Six are reporting that the FBI might be investigating the case. “The feds have an interest in the judge and (her) potential relationships,” a source told the publication. “This is an investigation looking into a possible extortionate demand. Undercover agents have been in the courtroom monitoring the Meek proceedings since April 2016.” Given the source’s anonymity and the ongoing appeal, the source’s comments are currently unproven.