BY MENSAH M. DEAN
AND JOSEPH A GAMBARDELLO
PHILADELPHIA – Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley has denied Meek Mill’s motion for bail while he appeals her decision last month to send him back to prison for parole violations.
Brinkley issued her decision in a 119-page court filing on Dec. 1. That was three days after the Superior Court denied Mill’s emergency motion for bail but directed Brinkley to rule on the Mill’s Nov. 16 bail petition and explain her reasons “without further delay.”
Called flight risk
In her seven-page opinion with 112 pages of attachments, Brinkley ruled that Mill was a danger to the community and himself.
Citing several situations where she said Mill had provided police and parole officials with false addresses,
Brinkley also ruled he was a flight risk “due to his providing false residence information to authorities.”
“We are very disappointed with Judge Brinkley’s decision to deny Mr. Williams bail, which continues her long pattern of unfair treatment of him,” said Joe Tacopina, one of Mill’s attorneys.
“As stated on multiple occasions, he has never missed a previous court date in this case and poses absolutely no threat to the community, which makes him an ideal candidate for bail — a conclusion (prosecutors) did not oppose.”
He said Mill’s legal team would immediately appeal the decision.
Since the 30-year-old Philadelphia rapper, born Robert Williams, was sentenced to prison for violating the terms of his probation in a 2008 drug and gun case, his management company, Roc Nation, has been marshaling his fans and supporters on his behalf.
There have been protests outside the city’s Criminal Justice Center, buses and billboards calling for the hip-hop star’s release, and internet petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures.
Sharpton weighs in
Some criminal justice reformers have used Mill as an example of the unfair and disparate treatment meted out to young Black men caught up in the court system.
The the Rev. Al Sharpton also visited Mill last week at the state prison in Chester and promised to use his reputation as a civil rights activists and television personality to help Mill and other prisoners.
Positive for Percocet
Brinkley imprisoned Mill after he tested positive for using the prescription narcotic Percocet and was arrested in a St. Louis airport altercation and in a traffic violation involving a motorbike in Manhattan.
In both arrests, authorities agreed to reduce the charges after Mill entered pretrial diversion programs.
Philadelphia prosecutors and Mill’s probation officer did not recommend that he be sentenced to a prison term for the violations.