Meek Mill Testifies in Civil Lawsuit Against Philadelphia Police
Meek Mill is taking a stand this week. The 26-year-old rapper was in a federal courtroom Monday (April 28) to tell a jury how Philadelphia police unjustly detained him after stopping his vehicle in October 2012.
The 'Dreamchasers' creator took the stand as part of his civil lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, police officer Alvin Outlaw and former cop Andre Boyer, Philly.com reports. Mill, born Robert Williams, claims he was traveling through the streets of Philly in his Range Rover when he was pulled over by police on Oct., 31, 2012 -- Halloween -- without just cause. The rhymer was on his way to pick up friends to board a jet to Atlanta to celebrate the release of his debut album 'Dreams & Nightmares.' However, the evening was less than celebratory according to Mill.
Once he was pulled over by police (who say the stop was for a traffic violation), Dimitri Jacques, a fellow passenger in the SUV and an off-duty Fort Lauderdale, Fla., narcotics cop, indicated he had a gun on him. Cops then told both Mill and Jacques to step out of the Range Rover -- Jacques was legally allowed to carry his gun, cops determined.
"In that kind of neighborhood, four black males in a car. I'm always being asked, 'Can I be searched?' -- when no crime was committed," Mill told his attorney, Dennis Cogan, in court, regarding how he felt when he was stopped.
Police claim they stopped Mill's vehicle due to its heavily tinted windows (a traffic violation) and called in drug dogs (the rapper said cops smelled weed) after he declined to have his vehicle searched. The Philadelphia police on site say they had probable cause to search Mill's SUV due to the dogs picking up on drugs (Cogan states they falsely claimed to smell marijuana). However, no drugs were ever found.
As a result of the "traffic stop," Mill and those in the Range Rover were arrested and detained for about 10 hours. Despite being locked up for that length of time, none of them were ever charged.
While on the stand, Mill testified that he not only missed out on his Atlanta release party, but lost a $39,000 appearance fee for the party and an additional $22,500 for the jet cancellation. The lawsuit stems from Mill's claims that police violated his civil rights and falsely imprisoned him.