We ride for Meek Mill because being unfairly shouldered into prison is a much too understood part of the Black paradigm. We hold vigil for his life interrupted, badgered by an unjust Philadelphia justice system with the MOVE bombing firmly in its shadow. It also happens that Mill has famous friends. And after Jay-Z’s illumination of the Kalief Browder and Trayvon Martin stories, TIDAL is putting its considerable weight behind “Reform: Bringing Justice To Light,” an initiative to not only free Meek but to bring the entire Philly justice system into its crosshairs.
There are a few sobering statistics we should get out of the way. According to Reform Philly, “The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in confinement.” It gets worse. “In addition, 4.7 million Americans are on parole or probation, and Philadelphia has the 2nd highest rate of adults on probation.” As we all know by now, it was probation that did in Mill. The man has been stuck in that trap since he was 19 years old, picked up by the Narcotic Field Unit, a division now under investigation for corruption and extortion.
The set of circumstances that led to Mill heading back to jail were a farce. The judge, Genece Brinkley, was said to have tried to bribe the rapper for song credits and other nonsense. She has, most recently, lawyered up herself, as her actions have been met by a considerable amount of scrutiny.
So on March 13, 2018, meeting at Irvine Auditorium in Philadelphia, the “Reform Philly” movement will be having just one of its many moments to come. It’s target: a Philadelphia justice system run amok and an emcee lost in its clutches.