In January of 2013, MMG rapper Meek Mill filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, a former Philly policeman, and a current city policeman, claiming unnecessary detention after a 2012 car stop landed him in a jail cell for nine-hours. Meek is expected to testify in-court sometime next week.
According to reports, Meek was pulled over at about 7:30 p.m. on Halloween night, 2012 by Officers Andre Boyer and Alvin Outlaw as the Philly MC was en route to the airport to catch a chartered jet from Philly to Atlanta for an album release party to celebrate Dreams & Nightmares.
During the stop, officers claimed they smelled marijuana but Meek refused the allowance of a car search. “You are gonna have to call the dogs,” Meek told police according to the police report. Once dogs were on the scene and “alerted to the presence of drugs,” cops were able to detain Meek Mill even though no drugs were found. Meek and the three passengers with him were then transported to the 22nd Police district in handcuffs and placed in jail cells while the rapper’s Range Rover was searched.
While in his jail cell, Officer James Craig “secretly took a cellphone picture” of Meek and sent it to his friends. Later, Officer Victoria Ayres sent out an Instagram post with the caption, ‘Talk about dreams and nightmares [sic], Meek is sitting in cuffs courtesy of the 22nd District! I’m rollin! Maybe he’ll sign our copies.”
At around 4:30 a.m. on November 1, Meek was released without any charges. The MC’s attorney says in the pretrial memorandum that the “search of the Range Rover yielded nothing.” And they contend that the officers lied about smelling pot to justify a search of the SUV, violated his civil rights by conducting an illegal stop of his vehicle, detained because of racial profiling, and that he was falsely imprisoned by being unjustly locked in a jail cell for hours.
The city’s Law Department is claiming that the cops pulled over Meek because his car had deeply tinted windows, a violation of the Pennsylvania motor-vehicle code.
Meek is seeking “compensatory damage for the mental anguish, anxiety, embarrassment and humiliation caused by the unlawful stop” and detention. The missed party appearance cost the rapper $39,000 and another $22,500 was lost for the chartered-jet cancellation. The negative press also hurt Meek during contract negotiations with Puma—to the tune of $1.4 million.
Officer Boyer, who is a defendant in the case, was fired last year after the Police Board of Inquiry cited him for a handful of departmental violations over his alleged seizure of $6,000 in cash from a man during a 2011 arrest. He also had a high number of civilian complaints which resulted in numerous Internal Affairs investigations. An investigation also found that Boyer improperly handled paperwork for dozens of marijuana arrests between 2006 and 2008.—Peter Walsh