Lawyers for Meek Mill have demanded the Philadelphia rapper’s immediate release on bail as well as asking that the judge who ordered his incarceration be removed from the case, accusing her of abusing her power by turning the entertainer’s case into a personal matter.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley has engaged in a “pattern of extrajudicial, personal and injudicious conduct,” according to the motion (which can be read in full below) filed Tuesday by Mill’s attorneys.
Last week, Brinkley sentenced Mill to two to four years in state prison for violating terms of his probation. Neither prosecutors nor Mill’s probation officer asked for jail time, and critics point to that as proof the sentence was unwarranted.
Mill’s attorneys believe the prison term stemmed from a series court violations that Brinkley took as personal insults.
In one instance, during a February 2016 hearing, Brinkley brought Mill and his ex-girlfriend Nicki Minaj into her chambers for a conversation. There, according to the motion, Brinkley asked Mill to cover the Boyz II Men song “On Bended Knee,” asking that Mill give Brinkley a shout-out in the track. When Mill brushed that suggestion aside, Brinkley responded, “Suit yourself.”
On another occasion, Brinkley secretly visited Broad Street Ministry, where Mill was supposed to be serving food to the homeless. Instead, Brinkley saw Mill sorting clothes. Later, she chastised him since he apparently was not doing what she had in mind, according to the motion.
This behavior shows that “Judge Brinkley stepped out of the proper judicial role,” lawyer Brian McMonagle and four other attorneys wrote in the new filing.
In addition, Brinkley pushed for Mill to leave Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label and go under the management of Philadelphia-based Charles “Charlie Mack” Alston.
“It seemed as if, while Mr. Mack was representing him, there were fewer problems with the probation department,” Brinkley said.
The motion contends that, on at least five occasions, Brinkley accused Mill of “thumbing his nose” — not at the court, but at Brinkley personally.
Longstanding bias, rapper’s attorneys claim
All of this, according to Mill’s lawyers, demonstrates that Brinkley has shown bias throughout the case, which started in 2007.
If Brinkley does not grant the motion and remove herself from the case, another judge will hold a hearing on the issues raised in the motion.
On Monday, hundreds of Mill’s supporters rallied in front of the Criminal Justice Center calling for his release and that his case be re-examined by a different judge. Celebrities such as Sixers legend Dr. J and current Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins spoke out on Mill’s behalf.
On Nov. 6, Brinkley revoked Mill’s probation and sent him to prison for at least two years in a case that started with his arrest at age 19 on drug and gun charges.
The violations were prompted by two recent arrests: one in connection with a scuffle in a St. Louis airport and another for reckless driving in New York. Both cases are set to be dismissed.
Mill, whose legal name is Robert Williams, also tested positive for Percocet, but his probation officer told the court that Mill described trying to kick the habit as his “biggest battle,” saying he used the narcotic to treat depression and stress.
Mill’s probation officer wrote Brinkley weeks before his was sent to jail and said he “responded well” to corrective measures and had been showing promising signs of behavior change, according to an exhibit to Tuesday’s motion.
Still, Brinkley has found 30-year-old Mill in violation of his probation at least three times over the past decade.
Before she sent him to prison last week, she sounded exasperated.
“I have been trying to help you since 2009,” Brinkley told Mill. “Every time I do, more and more and more to give you break after break after break to help you, basically, thumb your nose at me and just do what you want the way you want.
“So, I have to, I’m going to give you a sentence of incarceration.”
Brinkley did not return requests for comment.