Meek Mill should get a new trial and judge, Philly D.A. argues in court filing

Both District Attorney Larry Krasner and Meek Mill believe Judge Genece Brinkley should be removed from the case.

May 22, 2019
Meek Mill should get a new trial and judge, Philly D.A. argues in court filing Meek Mill performs at the Barclays Center. October 22, 2015.   Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2015

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office asked the state's Superior Court on Wednesday to permit a new trial for Meek Mill along with a new judge, according to documents reviewed by The FADER. Meek Mill was convicted of gun and assault charges in 2008 and sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison as well as 10 years of probation. He has maintained his innocence.

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The document describes three reasons for a new trial. Firstly, the testimony of Meek's arresting Officer Reginald Graham, who was named in a confidential city document published in 2018, as a cop "with a history of lying, racial bias, or brutality." The court filing notes that convictions based on evidence provided by Graham have already been overturned.

Meek Mill's own appeal to have his conviction overturned following the revelations about Graham was denied in 2018 by Judge Genece Brinkley, who the filing also names in pushing for a new trial. The court filing accuses Brinkley, who has presided over Meek Mill's case since 2008, of potential bias. The filing points to an incident where Brinkley paid Meek Mill a surprise visit while he was performing community service, a role that's reserved for probation officers. The rule-breaking visit, along with Brinkley's subsequent reliance on her recollections from the visit, "inappropriately created the appearance of partiality," according to the filing.

In 2017, Brinkley sentenced Meek Mill to two to four years in prison for violating his probation after the rapper was filmed popping a wheelie on a bike. Her decision was decried as draconian by the "#FreeMeek" movement, and the D.A.'s office seems to agree. In the third and final point in the filing's summary, it says the judge's court "abused its discretion" as Meek was employed, "had no new convictions," and was passing his drug tests.

The document reads: "Given the manner in which [Brinkley's] court conducted [Meek Mill's] violation of probation hearing, the Commonwealth also agrees that this matter should be remanded for further proceedings before another judge."

Meek Mill should get a new trial and judge, Philly D.A. argues in court filing