Photo: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty Images
  /  03.14.2018

According to Reverend Al Sharpton, the United States justice system has already proven itself to be racist – but the problem is made even worse by black people in power who perpetuate such injustice. The civil rights leader made his point while defending Meek Mill and scolding Judge Genece Brinkley, who sent Meek to prison for probation violation in late 2017.

“What she’s done is a disgrace to all of us that ever stood up in the first place,” Sharpton lamented. “We did not march to go to jail and suffer, for our people to get on the bench and look down their nose and forget how they got there in the first place.”

Sharpton joined Meek Mill’s lawyer Joseph Tacopina and his mother Kathy Williams on Tuesday afternoon for Reform: Bringing Injustice To Light, a town hall at University of Pennsylvania. The gathering was held as an avenue to shed light on Meek’s case, but also to call for reform in the Pennsylvania judicial system.

Tacopina repeatedly referred to Meek’s case as “a perversion of justice.” Meek was arrested over 12 years ago at age 18 for gun and drug possession. When he was 19, he was granted probation and has been arrested a few times over the past ten years.

This past November, he was sentenced to two-to-four years in prison for another infraction. Tacopina says that Meek’s original arrest should have been thrown out in the first place, especially after the recent explosive report in the Philadelphia Inquirer that listed 29 cops – including Meek’s arresting officer from 2007, Reginald Graham – accused of breaking laws, ranging from brutality to possession of child pornography. Graham was investigated for “several alleged acts of corruption.” All of the former officers have been placed on the Philadelphia District Attorney’s “Do Not Call” list, which advises public defenders not to call these officers to the stand in court cases.

“It was a bad arrest with a corrupt officer, a cop who lied about circumstances, beat Meek unconscious, pulled a braid out of his hair,” Tacopina said of Meek’s arrest as a teenager. He also noted the former district attorney who worked that case is now serving time in federal prison.

Tacopina added that Judge Brinkley “abuses her title and position power.”

“The judge threatens to sue me every day,” he added. “I’m waiting. I’m right here. I’m in your state. I will not be intimidated by some overbearing judge. I will not be intimidated by some corrupt cops. Meek will come home and the system will be better for it.”

Sharpton said that Brinkley’s behavior reflects issues of classism in the black community.

“Some of us…get ‘Negro amnesia’ and act like people didn’t pave the way for us. … I want this black judge, this black woman, every time she looks around at people that she may think respects her [to see that they] are totally ashamed and embarrassed by what she did to Meek Mill. … Our young brothers in the hood need to know that we will stand up and fight for them because they are worth being fought for like anyone else in the United States.”

“[W]e’re talking about not only a system that is racist. We’re talking about some blacks in the system who have a class problem,” Sharpton said, adding that civil rights organizations should be supporting Meek Mill through this ordeal. “If we don’t stand up to this bias we have one to another, as well as what they do with race, then we will never be able to break this cycle that’s a threat to all of us.”

Meek’s mom Kathy Williams received a standing ovation when she was introduced. As she fought back tears, she told everyone she was grateful.

“I don’t know what to say,” she told the audience. “I’d like two thank everyone for coming out supporting my son. [We are here] not just for Meek but for people treated unfairly. It’s all corrupt. I feel like I was a criminal from them doing this to my son for 12 years.”

Later, Meek himself called in and thanked those who have held him up during his trying time.

“I wanted to say I appreciate all the love and support from the people,” he said. “I think it was time Pennsylvania had some type of light shined on the system.”



View More



View More


Walmart has everything you need for the tech enthusiast on your shopping list

Check out our gift guide that highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds in time for Black Friday.

  /  11.10.2023

Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicked off at Central State University

In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.

  /  11.28.2023

Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'

Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.

  /  11.15.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

From city lots to lush gardens: The power of urban farming with Karen Washington

This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.

  /  11.17.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Madam DA Fani Willis proclaims, “A lie has been told on African American men”

“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.

  /  10.11.2023

Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money

At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money. 

  /  10.26.2023

Black media leaders stress the space's importance because we're always antagonists in mainstream's storytelling

“I definitely feel those ‘heavier is the crown’ moments. But I also believe that Black entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to be successful in the future,” Detavio Samuels said at AfroTech.

  /  11.03.2023

Machel Montano opens up about life as a child star, new music, and exciting business moves

In an exclusive interview with REVOLT, Machel Montano dove into his musical journey, childhood stardom, and an exciting new chapter in business.

  /  11.03.2023

Halftime Report | Professional athletes who've dropped rap albums

From Master P to Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, Damian Lillard and more, these athletes got bars. Check out our list here!

  /  11.01.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes