Meek Mill’s legal team is doing everything in its power to get the rapper released as soon as possible. On Wednesday, his lawyer filed an appeal in the form of the Post-Conviction Relief Act petition. It questions the legitimacy of his original 2007 arrest after the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a report revealing that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office put together a “secret list” of suspect cops last year.
The main officer spotlighted is Reginald Graham, who arrested Mill in 2007. His testimony as the sole witness during the rapper’s 2008 trial is now being called not credible as the petition documents cites former Philadelphia Police Officer Jerold Gibson, who provided a sworn affidavit to Licensed Private Investigator Cliff Goldsmith stating that Gibson, was present during Meek’s arrest. According to Gibson, officer Graham’s testimony contradicts what actually occurred that day.
Gibson states Mill never pointed a gun at Graham or anyone else; the officer only claimed that detail once he was in custody. Gibson also points out Mill took his gun out of his waistband to discard it, so the officers did not yell at him to “drop the gun.” Graham never took cover behind a parked van and Mill never tried to escape. Former officer Jeffrey Walker (who worked in the narcotics field unit with Graham from 2003 to 2005 or 2006 and again in 2012) was also cited in the petition, and his affidavit is different from Graham’s.
During Mill’s 2008 trial, Graham testified to recovering two packets of alleged crack cocaine from a criminal informant who allegedly purchased them from Mill, but the officer never offered a property receipt or lab report for those packets, or even the packets themselves, as evidence. According to the documents, Graham frequently stole and kept money that was recovered during searches and arrests, beat people who were considered suspects, and even admitted to Walker that he beat Meek in 2007 or 2008.
On Tuesday, Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina told Complex all legal avenues will be pursued:
Across the justice system, there are many instances of people that are incarcerated being subsequently let out when police corruption is uncovered. This would certainly be one of those instances. I mean, there were 800 cases that were dismissed or overturned upon discovery of this group of officers who had been committing crimes, lying about circumstances of arrests, and falsifying documents. One of the officers is the same one who not only arrested Meek, but made allegations that Meek has always denied. This is the only one that testified against Meek.
Tacopina also revealed Mill is aware of the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s suspect cops report but isn’t surprised. “He’s always maintained that he never possessed any drugs and that he never pointed a gun at any police officers,” Tacopina told Complex. “He was beaten unconscious, so he knew this was the case, so he isn’t surprised by it. Obviously, he’s disappointed that the former District Attorney hid that information knowing that the only officer that testified against Meek—and made the allegations that he did against Meek—was someone on their so-called, do-not fly list.”
With this new evidence and petition, on top of his release from prison, Mill’s legal team are requesting his sentence to be vacated. If charges are not withdrawn or dismissed, they will seek a retrial.