There’s no denying that Meek Mill has been given the short end of the stick when it comes to his latest sentencing. The rapper is currently behind bars on a 2-4 year prison sentence for violating his probation by popping wheelies on a dirt bike. It’s worth noting he’s been on probation for nearly 10 [email protected] years!
Unfortunately, the color of Mill’s skin doesn’t give way for any allowances in the judicial system. Several studies show that Black people receive sentences that are on average 19.1 percent higher than their white counterparts. And not only are their prison terms longer, but their bail amounts are much higher … or, in Meek’s case, denied all together.
While, celebrities and activist unite to help Meek fight the system, here’s a list of Black folks who’s punishment did not fit the crime.
Michael Vick: Once a NFL hot shot, Michael Vick’s fall from grace came courtesy a dog-fighting ring. Vick was convicted of federal offense conspiracy charges for his role in financing the ring. But, it was his almost 2-year sentence that shocked fans. True, the crime was cruel, but Vick’s status as a first-time offender, and the fact he cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty, should have softened the sentencing blow. Not only did the former Falcons quarterback do 18 months in prison, he was also suspended by the NFL, was ordered to pay the Atlanta Falcons back a portion of his earnings, and lost endorsement deals worth millions. Eventually he had to filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After his release in 2009, Vick did return to the NFL (retiring in 2017). But, to this day, people still harass him about his crime … even though he has paid his debt to society and raised money to help abused animals.
Michael Bennet: Another football player who had an unfortunate run-in with the law. While Bennett was arrested, but not imprisoned, the actions used to detain him call into question excessive force by the Las Vegas Police Department. Michael claims he was arrested for “being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” After hearing gunshots at a club, the NFL superstar, along with several hundred clubgoers ran for safety. Bennett stated that an officer pulled a gun on him and threatened to “blow my f*cking head off” if he didn’t get on the ground. Video of the account shows Michael being cuffed and pleading he was innocent — which later was proven to be true. But, it makes you wonder, why was Bennett singled out?
Wyclef Jean: Once a member of the “All Lives Matter” club, life came at Jean pretty hard earlier this year when the musician was arrested for “absolutely nothing.” According to the LAPD, Wyclef fit the description of a robber in the area … according to Wyclef it was racial profiling. Luckily, the detainment only lasted six minutes and Jean was able to walk away still breathing. But as we all know, that’s not always the case with Black men.
Wesley Snipes: Don’t play with Uncle Sam! Snipes found this out the hard way when he was convicted of failing to file his taxes … but here’s the gotcha, that’s only a misdemeanor. Wesley was acquitted of felony tax fraud and conspiracy, and since the misdemeanor was a first-time offense he appealed, arguing that his 3 year sentence was unreasonable. But according to the “Blade” actor he couldn’t get a fair trial because of his race, and even the U.S. Supreme Court turned him down.
O.J. Simpson: OK, bare with us for this one. Whether you believe he is guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her friend, or not, Simpson was subsequently acquitted for those crimes. However, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for stealing his own stuff back when folks tried to profit from his memorabilia. This is most likely a case of retributive justice as opposed to racial profiling injustice, but you have to admit the punishment for this did not fit the crime. Luckily, after doing nine years behind bars, O.J. was granted parole and was recently released.
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