Meek Mill knows a thing or two about the very specific ways that the criminal justice system can fail people. The rapper became the face of criminal justice reform after being sent back to prison by an overzealous judge for a minor violation nearly ten years after his initial crime. Given that experience, Meek is just about the best celebrity to set up a chat with Raheem Howard.
Howard was falsely accused of attempted murder by Baton Rouge Police Department Officer Yuseff Hamadeh. Back in August, Hamadeh fired at Howard during a traffic stop, claiming that Howard had fired his own weapon.
However, subsequent investigations found that only Hamadeh fired at the scene and that there was no evidence Howard had a weapon. He was released from jail earlier this month after the charges were dropped.
"He didn’t have it. There was not evidence. Because he didn’t have a gun, he didn’t fire a shot. And I think the suppression of the evidence by the cameras either malfunctioning or being willfully turned off only lends to that argument,” said Howard's attorney Ron Haley.
Hamadeh's false testimony about the traffic stop has lead to the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office dismissing cases that relied on his accounts. Meek and his attorney Joe Tacopina see similarities between what happened to Howard and what happened to Meek when he was initially arrested in 2007.
Tacopina points out that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office had a list of officers they did not trust to put on the stand due to allegations of misconduct, and that Meek's arresting officer Reginald Graham was one of them.
"I applaud the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office for swiftly dismissing cases involving officer Yuseff Hamadeh’s testimony. His unethical treatment of Raheem Howard was repulsive and is eerily similar to officer Reginald Graham’s conduct involving Meek and several others that were wrongfully-arrested in Philadelphia," Tacopina said. "I hope the entire Philadelphia criminal justice system follows the lead of their counterparts in East Baton Rouge Parish and takes immediate, corrective action to dismiss cases centered around Graham’s dishonest testimony.”
Meek spoke about this and other incidents with Howard backstage at Tidal X, relaying the ways that he has been mistreated by officers and the courts.
Take a look at the exclusive video of their meeting up top.