Police Abuse

Rapper Meek Mill Loses Lawsuit Over 10-Hour Traffic Stop in Philadelphia

|

bob
Twitter

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.

NEXT: NYPD Cops Can't Stop Drunkenly Shooting at People This Week

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. He should have known better than to drive while black!

    1. Well he probably fit a profile.

    2. Stop, in the name of race,
      Before I break your arm.
      Stop, in the name of race,
      Before I break your arm.
      Think it over, think it over.

  2. Juries believes you have no right to privacy and should not be compensated for missing your business flight if you are suspected of breaking the law.

    1. The average American still thinks cops are heroes. Even when they grossly violate someone’s rights they still convince themselves that the victim had it coming.

      I’ll never understand it.

  3. “I respect their decision, though,” he said.

    I don’t. Fuck those boot polishers. Kudos to Mill for being a classy guy though.

  4. Speaking of the 4A, I was just discussing with someone how it’s possible that car checkpoints don’t violate the 4A.
    Is it just FYTW, or has this actually been challenged on 4A grounds and been legally justified?
    I mean, stop and frisk is BS, but at last you can make a BS case that someone was acting suspiciously.
    But to just randomly pull people over with no cause – I don’t get it.

    1. I think the argument goes that driving is a privilege given to you by the state, so the state reserves the right to check that you are not abusing said privilege.

      1. Still doesn’t trump “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects..”. So stop and check of vehicle without probable cause is prohibited.

      1. Odd, I can’t see the text in the Fourth Amendment that says “except in the case where the State claims a “substantial government interest”.

        1. That’s what we get for putting a weasel word like “reasonable” in an important ammendment.

          1. To be fair, they didn’t that we’d get collectively more retarded as to not understand what reasonable should be.

        2. That was a new one on me. I’m surprised none of the Supremes thought to use it in support of the penaltax.

      2. “The Supreme Court held that Michigan had a “substantial government interest” to advance in stopping drunk driving, and that this technique was rationally related to achieving that goal (though there was some evidence to the contrary). The Court also held that the impact on drivers, such as in delaying them from reaching their destination, was negligible, and that the brief questioning to gain “reasonable suspicion” similarly had a negligible impact on the drivers’ Fourth Amendment right from unreasonable search (implying that any more detailed or invasive searches would be treated differently). Applying a balancing test, then, the Court found that the Constitutionality of the search tilted in favor of the government.”

        As, so it is FYTW.

        1. had a negligible impact on the drivers’ Fourth Amendment right from unreasonable search

          I guess I missed the part in the constitution where says it’s OK to violate people’s rights if you only do it a little.

    2. Generalized car checkpoints are unconstitutional.

      That doesn’t really matter, because they’ll always be able to pull you over if they see you do… something. And no matter how carefully you drive, you’ll do something illegal. And if you drive carefully, that’s suspicious. Either way, they’ll pull you over, and then (as seen here), it’s easy to say they saw something or smelled something, which somehow gives them justification for a search.

      1. Smell can’t be caught on camera, so it’s now the go to thing for cops. I guess the next time I get pulled over, I should run my own camera and say – wow officer, smells like you’re a Jack Daniels Man!

        1. After which you’ll be dragged out of the car, tased and arrested. And wouldn’t you know it, the dash cam wasn’t working that day.

          1. …and your camera was mysteriously destroyed with all footage on it erased during “processing”. Damndest thing.

    3. The Texas government considers checkpoints to be a violation of the 4A.

    4. It’s all been papered over by the courts. So most stops and searches are “legal” or can be pigeonholed into one of many, many, many “exceptions.”

  5. Here’s some more info on good old Andre Boyer.

    1. To paraphrase someone else’s comments on shit exactly like this, I know that a person’s past actions are not supposed to be held against them or considered relevant in a particular case before a court. “It’s neither here, nor there, ” we’re told. However, if a cop (in this instance) has a long history of lying and complaints against him, it’s both here and there as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Is that a mug shot? And if so, is he throwing a gang sign in a mugshot? Maybe he should be incarcerated for being stupid.

    1. It’s not a mug shot and that’s not a gang sign. About that stupidity thing…

    2. My young, white 12 yr old daughter puts her fingers up like that– well, more like this (no that’s not my daughter), that ain’t no gang sign.

  7. 10 hour traffice stop? I bet he told them he was in a hurry to catch a flight. He should’ve said, “You can keep me here all day and night. This is much better than getting nagged by my mother-in-law back home.” Malicious pricks would’ve sent him on his way.

  8. Strike one : Black
    Strike two : Rapper
    Strike three : Need to make a flight.

    1. I once heard a guy give a speech before an LP group explaining how rap music was an example of Spontaneous Order, a core libertarian idea. (He also ascribed Vanilla Ice to Affirmative Action. Yup, yup.)

      Great speech. I wish it were available on Youtube somewhere.

    2. Wait, a flight? To another state? Commerce Clause bitches!

  9. I was at a pretty cool 4/20 on Easter Sunday. Honestly, I have photographic evidence that it was the best in the nation.

    Anyway, one of the main speakers there was the youngest son of the martyr Peter Tosh–Jawara McIntosh. He had been caught with a bunch of raw in the trunk. What was the pretext for stopping the man in Mahwah, NJ? DWD, Driving While Dread. I believe it, too.

    1. I see a large marijuana leaf on a big cross. You gonna light that leaf on fire? You know what that means, don’t you?

  10. “Before the ruling, Pennsylvania residents enjoyed a stricter interpretation of Fourth Amendment rights than the one used in federal courts.”

    Nope. The PA Supreme Court was, before that case, interpreting the PA state constitution as providing more protection. Not the 4th Amendment. And if you mean the actual right, not just the thing written in the document, well, it wouldn’t be “Fourth Amendment rights” but the actual right.

    Get rights right.

  11. lol you got to be kidding me. For real?

    http://www.myAnon.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.