PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill attended an National Basketball Association playoff game in his first public appearance since being released from prison while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions.
Ruling on a King's Bench petition filed with the high court last month, the justices issued a per curiam order Tuesday directing the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to release Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, under conditions similar to the probation he had been serving until he was imprisoned a year ago.
The hip hop community has been reacting on Twitter to Meek Mill's release from prison on Tuesday afternoon.
The hometown boy was given the honor of ringing the ceremonial bell before the game - with a little help from his boy, Kevin Hart.
Given the context that the Philadelphia native was just released from prison earlier in the day Tuesday, and that Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin came to pick him up from the pen personally with a helicopter, this is a very big deal.
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A team of lawyers and public relations consultants had waged an all-out battle to get him freed on bail. Since his initial sentencing, Meek had found allies across the sports world, both amongst Philadelphia sports icons and even including some unlikelier names like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. The now-retired officer was among a list of police officers the prosecutor's office has sought to keep off the witness stand in cases across the city because of credibility questions. "I understand that many people of color across the country don't have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues".
"In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career", said Mill, whose last album "Wins and Losses" reached number three on the USA chart.
"I wouldn't wish jail on anybody", Minaj said. In granting Williams' bail, the Supreme Court, however, cited those concerns raised by District Attorney's Office and the prosecutors' statements that Williams should be granted PCRA relief.
Rapper Meek Mill is out of jail after being held behind bars for five months for probation violations.
At what had looked like a routine hearing, Philadelphia judge Genece Brinkley handed Mill a term of between two and four years for violating terms of parole, including scheduling shows that conflicted with the court schedule and entering a publicized scuffle in St. Louis.