Meek Mill performing at the Susquehanna Bank Center in 2015.

© Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News/TNS

Meek Mill released from jail, left in helicopter

The rapper's case sparked uproar on criminal justice reform.

April 24, 2018 - 4:13 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Meek Mill is a free man. 

The Philadelphia rapper at the center of a criminal justice controversy has been released from prison after a five-month stint behind bars in Chester. He was sent there by a city judge for a probation violation. 

The petition for his release was approved Tuesday by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after it was filed last month.

"It's just a wonderful, remarkable thing," said his defense attorney Brian McMonagle. Mill left the prison via helicopter Tuesday evening.

After his release, Mill attended the Sixers game versus the Miami Heat and rang the bell before the start of the game.

On the way to the sixers game let’s go!!!! #meekfree

A post shared by Michael Rubin (@michaelgrubin) on

Just earlier this month, the Philadelphia-born rapper was denied bail by the judge at the center of the case, Genece Brinkley.

The state Supreme Court overturned Brinkley's decision to keep Mill in jail — known as a "King's Bench jurisdiction" — which gives them the authority to override the city and release him.

Mill's immediate release was ordered as "extraordinary relief," pointing to credibility questions raised about the officer who arrested him, and to the district attorney's decision not to oppose the rapper's freedom. 

A couple hundred fans of the rapper surrounded the prison in Chester at the announce of his release.

"I came out to support Meek Mill," said one fan named Amanda. "He's been in jail for a reason that doesn't really make sense. I'm a huge fan, been a huge fan and I really wanted to see him come out here. Unfortunately, they took him away in the helicopter, so I wasn't able to see him."

Another fan simply known as Cheese said he was glad he was released.

"He's from the struggle," said Cheese, "so you know what I'm saying, these people out here they support him because it was unjust what happened." 

Mill was arrested in March 2017 at a local airport in St. Louis, Missouri for an alleged altercation. He was sentenced two to four years for violating a previous parole, sparking outrage from the Philadelphia community and beyond on criminal justice reform.

The justices will not remove Brinkley from the case, as the defense had requested, but she can opt to remove herself.

The District Attorney's Office has not said if it will seek another trial, but a hearing is scheduled for Brinkley on June 18.

"The Surpreme Court just really said they are taking over the case to allow him to be released today," explained McMonagle. "Then we deal with the district attorney's decision to grant him a new trial — and hoepfully end this case forever."