Meek Mill, the Philadelphia rapper imprisoned for a parole violation, should get a new trial for his criminal conviction because it might have been based on a cop's false testimony, prosecutors told a judge Monday.
Prosecutors said Mill should be released on bail, and their spokesperson added that the rapper should get a new trial "due to questions of credibility of the arresting officer."
Judge Genece Brinkley deferred the decision until June, when there will be another hearing in the case.
Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was arrested in January 2007 and charged with assault, gun and drug possession after a police raid. An officer alleged Mill pointed a gun at police, which the rapper has denied.
Mill was convicted of the possession charges based on the testimony of Philadelphia police officer Reginald V. Graham – the sole government witness. He was sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months in prison and seven years of probation, which he has been repeatedly accused of violating.
But Mill’s case took a dramatic turn in February when the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office secretly compiled a list in 2017 of police officers “with a history of lying, racial bias, or brutality," in an attempt to block them from testifying in court. The list included about two dozen officers, including Graham. Mill’s lawyers filed a motion two days later asking that his conviction be thrown out.
The Inquirer identified one of the whistleblowing officers as Jerold Gibson, and reported that Gibson swore Graham’s allegation about Mill pointing a gun at police was false.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner conceded in March that Graham was on the list of problematic police, and said he provided that information to Mill’s lawyers because "that's what the Constitution requires.”
Mill told CNN Monday night that he is innocent.
“I ain’t commit the crime. I didn’t point a gun at two officers,” he said.
Mill said the mere fact that he's alive belies the accusation against him.
“I happened to make it from the ghetto, and be on the road to success, that was lucky enough. You think I’m lucky enough to point a gun at two, three officers at one time ... without a shot being fired at me? It’s like almost impossible," he said.
When Mill was sent back to state prison last November, his case became a rally point for criminal justice reform, attracting the attention of Jay Z, who penned a New York Times op-ed calling for Mills' release, and New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft visited Mill last week in the Pennsylvania state prison where he is now being held. After the visit, Kraft told reporters that Mills' continued imprisonment is “just wrong,” according to the Washington Post.
“And makes it clear to me we have to do something with criminal justice reform.”