On Friday, a video surfaced of two black men being arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia, seemingly just for sitting around and being black. Both the beverage company and the Philadelphia Police Department came under fire for the incident, and the owner of Starbucks has since decided to take the blame.
In the wake of that controversy, CNN’s Don Lemon reached out to Meek Mill, who is currently in prison and caught up in a messy legal battle of his own, to speak on the incident. “If I would’ve got locked up just for sitting in Starbucks by mistake and got a technical violation, legally, a judge would be able to sentence me for two-to-four years, three to six years, five to 10 years just for having police contact,” he said when asked about the case. “I don’t think nobody should lose their freedom for not even committing crime. I was found guilty of a crime I didn’t even commit in 2008 or 9. I’m in a state penitentiary right now, still because of that case.”
Meek is a Philadelphia native, and the city has rallied behind the rapper since he was arrested back in November and sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating probation. Meek has been denied bail and is currently appealing his case to the Philadelphia Supreme Court. His case came into the spotlight for shedding light on the reality of how the court system wrongfully treats black men, and because of his now notorious judge Genece Brinkley, who allegedly has "personal vendetta" against the MC. On Monday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office agreed that Meek should receive a retrial, after the credibility of Meek’s original arresting officer was questioned in court.
Unlike the Philadelphia MC, the two men arrested at Starbucks have been released. It’s unclear if they intend to sue the company for damages, but it is clear that they shouldn’t have been arrested for “trespassing” in the first place. The manager responsible for calling the police has reportedly been let go from the company, according to BuzzFeed News.
Watch the clip above around the 6:12 mark for Meek's comments.