Last November, Kathy Williams somberly watched her son, Meek Mill, enter prison after receiving a 2- to 4- year sentence for violating his probation stemming from a 2007 arrest. Meek’s sentencing sparked outrage within the hip-hop community, and caused a bevy of his peers including JAY-Z, Rick Ross, Nipsey Hu$$le, players from the Philadelphia 76ers, Al Sharpton and more to speak out against the justice system.
Though a multitude of reports regarding Judge Genece Brinkley — the woman responsible for sending Meek back to jail — surfaced, he remains incarcerated. In February, the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported that the city’s District Attorney’s office had a secret list based on dirty cops with murky backgrounds. The arresting officer behind Meek’s 2007 arrest, Reggie Graham, was named as one of the corrupt cops on the D.A.’s list.
Despite the new information, Meek still sits behind bars, awaiting his opportunity to walk out of prison. His mother, Kathy Williams, remains aplomb, though her fight to free her son, continues to be an arduous one. On Monday (March 26), Williams penned an op-ed letter against the feeble justice system in hopes of seeking answers behind her son’s sentencing. Read an edited transciript of her plea to Lady Justice below.
Dear Lady Justice:
I was always taught — and always believed — that you, Lady Justice, were fair, impartial and balanced. That was until you took my son from me at the tender age of 19. His whole life he was struggling with the death of his father and the void of my presence since I worked three jobs to keep the lights on. In fact, he would hardly utter a word and mostly stayed quiet until he started rhyming.
My son was given a gift and he has been able to flourish with it, a gift that’s more like a savior. It has introduced him globally to many and given him opportunities to grow as a professional and as an individual. Like all of us, he has had ups and downs, but always pushes forward with hope and a sense of survival.
The problem is that the justice system has failed my son at every turn and hasn’t let go. You, Lady Justice, have allowed corruption at the highest levels of the system, and cruelty and spite have cast doubt on your very foundation. You are supposed to balance fairness and blindly always do what’s right, yet injustice has taken 11 years of our lives. My son had to choose between seeing his child and his mother in a hospital or going to prison. My son – who was 19 when he was introduced to the justice system – has been scarred physically and emotionally by your betrayal, and now you threaten his own son’s sense of security.
Today feels heavier because, now that the truth has finally been revealed, for some reason Lady Justice you are not weighing in. Where are you? The District Attorney and Governor Wolf had the courage to say let my son out of prison due to this injustice. You’ve taken his innocence and abused his pride. He’s suffered loss of family and freedom. No human being should know his truths and be accosted by lies and false judgment under your shelter.
I thank God for the humbling moments, when I’ve fallen to my knees and prayed for the strength to continue to help my son and for God’s Will to invoke compassion and courage for those who can do something about all this wrong.
You have wrongfully convicted a black man in prison, that is a profound reality in America. We have given you all the evidence and all the reasons his case is a symbol of the problem in our justice system.
On behalf of every mother whose son suffers the cruelty of unjust punishment, I now beg you to hear the words of the DA and the Governor and release my son.
Each time I talk to my son, he gives me the strength to carry on and promises me that upon his release he will fight for other men whose voices are not heard. Give him that chance.