Exclusive: Meek Mill’s Lawyer Says Rapper Is Victim Of Racial Profiling
Meek Mill isn’t taking what he considers to be “harassment” unjust treatment from Philadelphia police lightly. After claiming that he was falsely imprisoned, the MMG artist filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and two police officers, while the rapper’s lawyer believes it’s a clear case of racial profiling.
As Hip-Hop Wired previously reported, last year, on Halloween night, Meek was detained by police in Philadelphia. According to his lawyer Dennis J. Cogan, Meek was only stopped and held because of the color of his skin, and his celebrity.
“This is a problem that we have all over the country, particularly in the inner cities, and we know what happens, unfortunately,” Cogan tells Hip-Hop Wired. “This would have never have happened in certain neighborhoods. [It’s] just a guy driving an SUV in the inner city. He’s Black; he’s got two other Black men with him. One is an off duty cop from Ft. Lauderdale who was moonlighting, acting as a body guard, and the other one was a Senior Vice President from Warner Bros., so you’re dealing with legitimate people.”
According to Cogan, Meek and company were killing time before catching a private jet to Atlanta. Due to Hurricane Sandy, they were unable to catch a commercial flight for a scheduled date in Atlanta to help promote the rapper’s just released debut album, Dreams and Nightmares. Meek, born Robert Williams, was stopped while driving a Range Rover SUV but was not asked any questions. A K-9 unit was called onto the scene to search the vehicle for drugs (none were found). Cogan also asserts that they have a copy of the police transmission where the dispatcher asks why the drug sniffing dog was requested, but at the time the officers did not provide an answer.
Meek was taken into custody and the authorities later claimed to have smelled m@rijuana. “That’s the usual game that’s played, and you can quote me on that,” says Cogan.
Meek was released at 4:30 a.m. and was not charged with a crime. Cogan goes on to allege that besides photos that made it onto Instagram, officers also took video of Meek while he was being held.
The entire incident hit Meek were it would hurt him most: his wallet. “So, he misses his flight to Atlanta, which cost him,” explains Cogan. “[Meek] had a charter, 26-27 thousand dollars that he lost, and he couldn’t make the concert in Atlanta later that night. And I think it was like 50 thousand dollars for his appearance in Atlanta that he didn’t make, and that’s just the beginning of it. You see what the damages are.”
Meek’s lawsuit was filed yesterday in Federal Court. How much money he is seeking in damages has not been provided at this time. Besides the financial hit, the “Amen” rapper was none too pleased about the incident’s effect on his image, too.
“He talked about how upset he was that when the cops stopped him, there were kids out there seeing him handcuffed, and people are screaming out…they knew who he was,” says Cogan. “Now you can imagine that people [who] are going to be booking him in the future have to be looking at whether or not he can be relied upon to show up; whether or not if he’s going to be confined to Philadelphia, where he’s been on probation for a number of years anyway. Whether he’s going to be able to leave because of this latest incident whenever he can, whenever he wants. So it really has had an effect on him that’s cost him money.”
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