Meek Mill testified Monday (April 28) in the first day of his civil-rights lawsuit against police officials in the city of Philadelphia over what he feels was an improper arrest based on race.
"In neighborhoods like where I come from, four Black males in a car, ... we're always being asked to be searched," Meek Mill testified. "All I was doing that night was going to work and doing what I had to do."
As reported earlier this month, Mill is suing Philadelphia over the 2012 incident in which he says he was pulled over and told that law enforcement officials smelled marijuana in his car. They searched his vehicle and handcuffed the rapper "for refusing to let cops search" his automobile, as per the publication. No drugs were found in the car.
Mill has said the incident caused hims to miss a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. The private jet cancellation reportedly cost $22,000. Mill also says he missed a public appearance that would have paid him $39,000. Court documents have shown Mill claims he lost money when attempting to negotiate a $2 million deal with Puma. He says negative publicity from the 2012 incident caused him to settle for $650,000.
Since the incident, Andre Boyer, lead officer in the stop, has been fired after receiving several civilian complaints. Tuesday (April 29), an internal police memo was presented, which describes Boyer as a "very aggressive narcotics officer." The memo also says Boyer's reports were consistently filled with errors.
Mill, who says he was in fear for his career and concerned about being on probation from a 2009 drug and gun case, also says that one police officer at the station took an image of him in handcuffs the day of the arrest. Mill says this image became public through the internet and he says another officer posted an image of him at the station on Instagram. The city says Mill helped distribute the photograph that was posted online by retweeting it to his more than 1 million followers. The city also notes the rapper's debut album, Dreams and Nightmares features a pair of handcuffs.
"Plaintiff has also repeatedly referred to his drug use and criminal history in his song lyrics," Deputy Solicitor Amanda Shoffel said in her brief. "Many of these songs appear on the same album for which he is claiming a loss in record sales ... for harm to his 'image.'"
Mill is not only suing the city of Philadelphia. The rapper's also suing several officers individually, as per the AP report.
Mill is prepping the release of his sophomore album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, which is scheduled to be released this year.