ENTERTAINMENT

Jay-Z Writes How ‘Probation Is A Trap’ In Powerful Meek Mill Op-Ed

“Our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day,” the rapper wrote for The New York Times.

17/11/2017 23:03 SAST | Updated 17/11/2017 23:05 SAST
Andrew Kelly / Reuters
Rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter attends 'The Great Gatsby' world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York May 1, 2013 REUTERS/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT PROFILE)

Jay-Z continued to show his support for fellow rapper Meek Mill in a poignant New York Times opinion piece published Friday.

Earlier this month, Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was sentenced to up to four years in prison for a probation violation from a 2008 gun and drug case.

Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley of Philadelphia cited a failed drug test, failure to follow an order restricting his travel and two other unrelated arrests for Mill’s sentencing.

In Jay-Z’s op-ed, the 47-year-old musician argued that Mill’s punishment greatly outweighs his crime, while calling out racial bias in the criminal justice system.

“On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started,” he wrote. “But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside.”

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Meek Mill

He continued:

“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.”

On Monday, hundreds of people showed their support for Mill at a rally in Philadelphia, including celebrities like Freeway and Rick Ross, former 76ers great Julius Erving, singer Justine Skye and the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins. A Change.org petition calling on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack to pardon Mill has also received over 378,000 signatures as of Friday.