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Meek Mill joins Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to talk justice reform, Starbucks scandal

Shaheem Reid

 // May 3, 2018

Artist // Instagram/Philly.com

This morning in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf brought together at his office a coalition consisting of Meek Mill, representatives Dwight Evans and Donna Bullock, Philadelphia 76er co-owner Michael G. Rubin, and a host of community leaders and advocate groups to discuss justice reform.

Meek, wearing a suit, was very frank with the onlookers. "I've been tangled in the system since 18 years old," he said. "I feel like everything I went through was terrible and I think it's a path God put me on for a better time, like right now. It's still surreal to me to be in a situation where you have people like Governor Wolf talking about criminal justice reform."

Insider Access | Meek Mill pushes for justice reform
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During the discussion, Meek revealed that at he was addicted to opioids at one point, and discussed the unjust treatment of Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, the two Black men who were recently arrested in a Starbucks. They settled a lawsuit with Philadelphia for $200,002, accepting only one dollar each with the rest being donated to the city's public schools.

"If that was me in Starbucks on probation, I would have actually been in technical violation and still would have legally been able to be sentenced to two-to-four years in prison just because I came in contact with police," Meek continued. "Growing up in the streets of Philadelphia as a Black young man, we come in contact with the police on a daily basis. As of right now, Philadelphia probation laws, if you come in contact with police, whether you're found innocent or guilty of a crime, legally you're still allowed to be put in jail. I think things like that will keep communities, like mine where I come from, down. I grew up in a single-parent home with my mother. I lost my father when I was five years old."

After the press conference, Governor Wolf sent out a series of tweets recapping the morning and outlining future plans.

"The public outcry over @MeekMill's case and the circumstances surrounding it put PA's criminal justice system into the national spotlight," the Governor wrote. "While we are heartened that the Supreme Court made the right decision to release Meek, we know that there are more like him. #JusticeReform"

"The debate about how we can fix our criminal justice system is complicated, but one thing is clear – we need to make our system fairer so we only send those who belong in prison to our correctional institutions.," he added. "Our proposals for criminal #JusticeReform will bring long overdue clarity to the system so that we are not wasting time and money supervising those who do not belong in prison."

"We need to make our criminal justice system fairer, more equitable, and more focused on rehabilitation. Let's continue to work towards building the criminal justice system we all want to see in Pennsylvania. #JusticeReform."

It was also announced today that Meek, JAY-Z and Amazon are developing a docu-series on justice reform with Amazon.

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