Tuesday might as well have been another Meek Mill Day in Philadelphia.
The 12-year legal saga involving the Philadelphia rap phenom ended in a matter of minutes this week when Meek pleaded guilty to an old misdemeanor gun charge. As part of the plea deal, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office dropped all other remaining charges.
That means Meek Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, faces no further jail time. He is at last free from a controversial probation term that got the whole world talking about America’s criminal justice system.
Williams, 32, was initially charged in 2007 with a litany of crimes including felony firearm possession, aggravated assault and drug possession. He was convicted of the felony gun and drug charges, and sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison plus five years probation. He served about five months of that original sentence. But because of several probation violations, he would serve much more time over the course of his bizarre journey.
Over the past decade, the high-profile case spawned hilarious allegations about presiding Judge Genece Brinkley’s desire to get into the music biz; a massive, star-studded #FreeMeek campaign featuring rallies and flashy buses circling City Hall; a five-part Amazon docuseries; activism from fellow rapper Jay-Z; many dives into the entire United States criminal justice system; and, in the end he creation of a celebrity criminal justice reform organization — on which Meek has pledged to continue the work.
Williams is now a free man. Like, free free, not just out of prison on bail pending another trial. Here are 13 things Meek can do now that he’s no longer subject to the criminal justice system.
Like the rest of Philadelphia, Meek can smoke weed in the city and only face a possible $25-$100 fine, thanks to a 2014 local law decriminalizing small amounts of marjiuana. (Though apparently he may still run into trouble with that because he’s Black.)
He can be unemployed! Part of the original probation terms required him to “devote himself to a specific occupation or employment.” Time to kick your feet up, Meek!
Not be randomly searched
Meek’s 4th Amendment rights are now clear. In Pennsylvania, the law is murky regarding whether or not a parolee has the same rights to reasonable suspicion searches as a regular citizen.
Be $35 a month richer
Meek had been ordered to pay supervision fees at the minimum rate of $35 per month. This year, DA Larry Krasner implemented a new policy eliminating those fees for defendants in Philadelphia with lower incomes.
Ride his bike
He can be about that #bikelife without risk of more prison time. In Philadelphia, the penalty for riding a dirt bike on the street is a fine and an impounded bike.
Go on tour
Without probation restrictions, Meek can tour internationally without approval. He previously had several well-documented travel woes. Per the court docket, he was most recently granted permission to travel on June 14. He went to Nassau, Bahamas in early July.
Use his Twitter fingers freely
In 2014, Meek was sentenced to serve 3 to 6 months in prison for, among other things, tweeting negatively about his PO.
Volunteer how ever he wants
As part of his probation, Williams was ordered to complete community service, but to only work with homeless adults, building homes and senior citizens.
Travel in private
One travel order granted by the judge in 2015 includes Williams’ precise travel itinerary from LAX to Dubai, even listing his hotel with address.
Meek can now use the word “piss” without being forced to take etiquette classes. This is really something that happened. You hate to see it.
Use a phone without voicemail
In 2013, Williams was ordered to set up a phone with voicemail to communicate with his probation officer. Ring, ring………ring.
Receive a fair sentence
Meek Mill shows no indication that, as a newly free man, he plans to go out and pursue a life of crime. On the contrary, he’s taken up the cause of criminal justice reform in a way that got him honored by Philadelphia City Council earlier this year. Still, should he be charged with simple assault after a scuffle in, say, a St. Louis airport, and subsequently have those charges dropped, he wouldn’t face up to four years in prison for those dropped charges.