- Jay-Z wrote a New York Times op-ed on Friday protesting rapper Meek Mill’s controversial prison sentence from last week.
- Jay-Z has been one of Mill’s most fervent supporters, previously calling the ruling “unjust and heavy-handed.”
- In the Times op-ed, Jay-Z calls probation “a trap” and highlights “the absurdity of the criminal justice system.”
When rapper Meek Mill was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison last week for violating his probation, an outpouring of protest followed the controversial decision, with Jay-Z being one of Mill’s most fervent supporters.
After calling Mill’s sentence “unjust and heavy-handed” in a Facebook post last week, Jay-Z wrote an op-ed protesting Mill’s sentence and the “absurdity of the criminal justice system” for The New York Times on Friday.
“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day,” Jay-Z wrote. “I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime.”
Mill was imprisoned last week following a sentencing from a Philadelphia judge, who Mill’s attorney said showed an inappropriate “personal bias” in a “ridiculous” decision that the rapper’s legal team is currently appealing.
In his Times op-ed, Jay-Z addresses how the two charges that violated Mill’s probation were both either dropped or dismissed, and that neither Mill’s probation officer nor the case prosecutor recommended that Mill be imprisoned.
He went on to use the specifics of Mill’s case to paint a picture of injustice in the criminal justice system at large, including how black people are disproportionately imprisoned for probation or parole violations.
“Probation is a trap and we must fight for Meek and everyone else unjustly sent to prison,” he wrote.
Read Jay-Z’s op-ed in The New York Times.