Al Sharpton visits Meek Mill in prison

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Monday, November 27, 2017
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Sharpton meets with Meek Mill: Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 6 p.m., November 27, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton is visited Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill in a Chester, Delaware County prison on Monday.

Sharpton said it's part of his effort to get the rapper a new hearing, and draw attention to the incarceration of young black men.

Sharpton arrived at the Chester State Correctional Institution at 2:30 p.m. to meet with rapper Meek Mill, alongside Mill's New York-based attorney. The pair emerged two-and-a-half hours later.

"We had a very blunt talk," said Sharpton. "He's a bright young man. He's committed and he really said 'Reverend, if nothing else, let people understand what this system does.'"

Earlier this month, the 30-year-old Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison by Judge Genece Brinkley for violating his probation stemming from gun and drug convictions in 2008.

The same judge extended his probation for other violations over the years.

Sharpton contends Mill's case is symbolic of widespread injustice in the judicial system.

In Mill's case the prosecutor and parole officer did not ask for jail time.

"He is representative of something that is far more than his stardom, he's a symbol of the abuse of the system that will violate you over nothing and end up ruining the potential and the ability to move forward in life," said Sharpton.

Mill's case has drawn widespread attention - billboards line local highways- celebrities and other activists are speaking out.

"It's just a horrific situation," said Joe Tacopina, Mill's attorney. "But at least we have the focus on the situation. And we're going to keep the focus on the situation until it's rectified and he's released and hopefully that's going to be soon."

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