Rapper Meek Mill was released on his own recognizance Friday after he was arrested for several traffic violations in New York City the night before.
Meek — whose given name is Robert Williams — was arrested late Thursday after videos of him for popping wheelies and riding his dirt bike without a helmet through upper Manhattan surfaced on social media.
The videos were said to be uploaded to Instagram Wednesday but it took the NYPD one day to identify Meek as the culprit. The videos have since been scrubbed from the “Dreams and Nightmares” rapper’s social media pages.
The Philadelphia-born rapper was charged with reckless endangerment.
The 30-year-old’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told The Daily News Meek was arrested because he’s famous.
“It really stinks of obvious targeting an individual who is a celebrity and maybe who law enforcement don’t like, and it’s not what the system is supposed to be about,” he said. “If his name was John Smith, he wouldn’t have even been arrested,” Tacopina said. “You could go to 110th St. and Dyckman right now and you’ll see 10 kids popping wheelies on their bikes. Nobody gets arrested.”
Meek Mill has spoken about his love for riding bikes, even launching a mobile game app titled Bike Life. In a June 2015 interview with Philly.com, the “Wins and Losses” emcee said bike riding served as a positive outlet for the youth.
“When the bikes is all together no fights take place. No violence takes place,” he said. “All that takes place is a little bit of reckless riding. I’m not even going to say it’s not dangerous. But this is the one thing that these kids from the ghetto got, and they using to get away from being on the corner selling drugs, shooting guns, things like that.”
He added “This is what we love. I’m a part of the bike culture. Like you know on the street, there’s a lot of violence going on. People beefing and they want to hurt each other. But when the bikes is out, everything turns off. All beef is off. Any drama goes off. That’s just the rules. If 100 bikes going by, nobody ever shoots at the bikes. Nothing ever goes wrong. The only thing that ever goes wrong is is some of those bikes get chased by the cops and there’s an accident. They might hurt someody.”
Catch Meek Mill on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon today. Check your local listings.