Jay-Z defends Meek Mill in New York Times op-ed

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Updated Nov 17, 2017 4:27 PM EST

After pausing his concert to call Meek Mill’s prison sentence unfair, Jay-Z is defending Mill once again. This time, Jay Z wrote an op-ed in the New York Times and called the rapper’s sentence “just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.” 

A judge in Philadelphia sentenced Mill earlier this month to two to four years in prison for violating probation. 

Jay-Z wrote that Mill has been “stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside” and said that when he was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s and 1980s, he saw that probation became a “landmine” for many. He pointed out that a “random misstep” could bring consequences greater than the crime.

“A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew,” wrote Jay-Z. He pointed out, “As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans who were on some form of parole or probation were black. Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people.”

On Nov. 7, Jay-Z stopped his concert in Dallas to say of Mill, “He caught a charge when he was, like, 19. He’s 30 now, he’s been on probation for 11 years. F***ing 11 years. Judge gave him two to four years because he got arrested for being on a bike and popping a f***ing wheelie.”

Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced Mill for the probation violation, said he had wasted several chances to clean up his act after a 2009 gun and drug case. The sentence came against the recommendation of the prosecutor, who said Mill had matured since his original crime. Brinkley said the prosecutor did not know the case as well as she did and that Mill just “does what he wants.” Demonstrators took to the streets in Philadelphia on Monday to protest Mill’s sentence.

Mill was recently arrested twice — once in St. Louis for an alleged altercation in the airport and another time for alleged reckless driving in New York City.

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