How 'Sadist' Judge Has Kept Meek Mill From Superstardom

Judge Genece Brinkley has kept rapper locked up, literally and figuratively, for a decade
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2018 5:35 PM CDT
How 'Sadist' Judge Has Kept Meek Mill From Superstardom
In this Nov. 6, 2017 file photo, rapper Meek Mill arrives at the criminal justice center in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

"There's brothers locked down that did nothing to be here but piss off people like Brinkley," Meek Mill tells Rolling Stone in an exclusive interview from prison. The interview serves as a long look at Judge Genece Brinkley—described by one attorney as a "sadist"—who has kept the million-album-selling rapper on parole, locked up, or trapped in Philadelphia for the past decade, potentially costing him tens of millions of dollars and a shot at true superstardom. Meek and Brinkley first crossed paths when a cop claimed he saw a then-18-year-old Meek sell crack to an informant in 2007. The cop said Meek later pointed a gun at him. Witnesses placed Meek in a courtroom on the other side of town at the time and other officers said he never pointed a gun at anyone (Rolling Stone also takes a long look at the disgraced cop who made the claims), but Brinkley put him in prison.

In the ensuing years, Brinkley, who has a habit of giving black men long paroles and using any excuse to put them back behind bars, sent Meek back to prison multiple times while giving him 14 years of probation, effectively keeping him from promoting his music. In 2012, she ordered two drug tests on Meek—both of which came back clean—after Hurricane Sandy changed his travel plans, then barred him from touring anyway. She most recently sent Meek to prison last November after he popped a few wheelies on a dirt bike in New York City. There's also the bizarre matter of Meek's ex-manager, who Brinkley has praised in court. Read the full story here for more on Brinkley, including her serious habit of suing and being sued and what reportedly caused Meek's then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj to laugh in her face. As for Meek's post-prison plans: "I'm gonna move to Atlanta." (Read more Longform stories.)

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