by Corey Atad
Jay Z has come out in defence of rapper Meek Mill.
After a Facebook post two weeks ago calling Mill’s recent sentencing “unjust and heavy-handed,” Jay Z has now written an opinion column for the New York Times elaborating on the cruelty Mill has faced under the justice system.
Earlier this month, Mill was sentenced by a judge in Philadelphia to serve two to four years in prison for violation of his probation after doing stunts on a dirt bike on the set of a video.
Though the case may seem simple, Jay Z pointed out it is anything but. “Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence,” he wrote. “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.”
“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,” he added.
Jay Z also called attention to the racial component of the sentencing. “As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans who were on some form of parole or probation were black,” he explained. “Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people.”
He concluded: “Probation is a trap and we must fight for Meek and everyone else unjustly sent to prison.”
The rap icon also directed supporters to sign the #FreeMeekMill petition, set up through the racial-justice organization Color of Change, to pressure the courts in Philadelphia to take action on injustice.