The rapper Meek Mill lost a civil lawsuit over a 10-hour traffic stop in North Philadelphia in 2012, with a jury deciding his Fourth Amendment rights were not violated. The jury also read a note that explained they believed both sides "were in the wrong and made mistakes." The note didn't explain how Mill was in the wrong, but he was reportedly on probation at the time.
Cops said they stopped Mill's car because it had tinted windows, and they said they held him because they smelled marijuana. But the cops didn't find any. The New York Post's Page Six reports Mill's reaction the jury verdict:
"They ain't from where I'm from," Mill said softly of the jury after they reached their decision. "I [don't] really expect them to understand what I go through."
Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, grew up in North Philadelphia, where the stop occurred.
"I respect their decision, though," he said.
One of the officers involved in the stop, Andre Boyer, was fired last year for lying about another traffic stop; he had more complaints by residents filed against him than any other cop in Philadelphia. Mill's defense attorney describes the claim that cops smelled marijuana as a "pretext" often used to conduct rogue searches. Mill was seeking $400,000 in lost income because the lengthy traffic stop prevented him from making a flight to Atlanta to promote the debut of his album.
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, meanwhile, ruled this week to roll back restrictions on when cops can search vehicles. Cops no longer need "exigent circumstances," for example. Before the ruling, Pennsylvania residents enjoyed a stricter interpretation of Fourth Amendment rights than the one used in federal courts.