Meek Mill Sues Philadelphia, Police

Hip-hop artist Meek Mill says the Philadelphia police officers who arrested him in 2012 cost him a lot of money.

He's now suing the city and the two officers to try and get it all back.

Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, was pulled over by two Philadelphia police officers on October 31, 2012. According to the complaint, Mill was handcuffed and taken to the 22nd Police District where he was held in a jail cell for nine hours.

The suit also claims that the arresting officers, Andre Boyer and Michael Vargas, took pictures of Mill while he was in custody and shared them on social media.

Mill is being represented by Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys Dennis J. Cogan and Associates.

Cogan said Mill was just trying to get he and two of his friends -- a Vice President of Warner Brothers Records, and an off-duty Ft. Lauderdale, Florida police officer who were also in the car -- to a chartered plane after Hurricane Sandy left them stranded in the Northeast.

"He drove into Philly to charter a private plane out. The cops stopped him for a so-called traffic violation, and instead of just giving him a ticket, they start asking him questions," Cogan said.

According to Cogan, the stop lasted nearly 40 minutes and eventually drew a crowd of people who were fans of Mill. Cogan said Mill and his friends were arrested when he refused to allow the police officers to search the car.

The officers, Cogan said, claimed to have stopped Mill because they smelled marijuana in the car, but no marijuana was found in the vehicle.

The complaint cites the city's 'Stop and Frisk' practices as a direct cause for the stop and subsequent arrest of Mill, and accuses the Philadelphia Police Department of "failing to properly train, supervise and discipline" its officers, among other claims.

One of the officers named in the suit, Boyer, was reportedly fired by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey in 2013, following accusations of alleged questionable arrest reports, and drug and cash seizures.

Cogan said Boyer's troubled reputation only adds to the strength of his client's case.

Mill also has a troubled reputation.

Criminal court records indicate that the Maybach Music Group rapper was found guilty of careless driving and for failing to renew his vehicle's registration in the 2012 Halloween arrest. Court records also show the rapper has been arrested before, including a string of charges in 2007 that led to a drug and gun conviction in 2008.

Following the 2008 conviction, Mill served eight months of an 11- to 23-month term sentence and was placed on probation for two years.

"He's done really well since then. He's gotten himself together. He's a really nice kid," Cogan said.

He last butted heads with city officials in December of 2012 when he tried to fight a travel ban that was issued by a Philadelphia judge after a probation violation. A city judge issued an order that forbade Mill from traveling outside of Philadelphia for a month, causing him to miss a scheduled appearance on Conan in Los Angeles, and a tour stop in Africa.

According to TMZ, Mill says the 2012 arrest is unlawful and cost him $22,000 that he'd spent on a private jet that was supposed to take him to a scheduled party appearance in Atlanta, Ga.

Missing that appearance, he says, cost him another $39,000.

In addition, Mill claims negative publicity from the arrest reduced a deal he was negotiating with athletic apparel company Puma from $2 million to $650,000.

"He knows a lot of inner city people who got caught up in the life that--thanks to music--he was able to avoid. So, he is fortunate and he wants to be accepted by, not only the people who listen to his music but in the corporate office as well," Cogan said.

Mill is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an award of attorney fees and costs for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy.

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