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Hundreds rally in support of imprisoned rapper Meek Mill

PHILADELPHIA — Hundreds of people have gathered in Philadelphia to protest rapper Meek Mill’s imprisonment on probation violations.

Meek Mills performs during the Bacardi untamable house party on Nov. 20, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Bacardi)

Celebrities and athletes spoke at the rally Monday evening near City Hall, including former 76er Julius Erving, Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins and rapper Rick Ross. Erving called Mill’s sentence “excessive” and “cruel.”

Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison last week for violating probation in a nearly decade-old gun and drug case.

The sentence came as a surprise after prosecutors recommended Mill not be imprisoned for the probation violations, noting he’s been off drugs since January and has complied with most requirements of probation.

But Brinkley says she’s been trying to help Mill for about a decade and that he just does whatever he wants.

Mill was arrested in Manhattan after performing dirt bike stunts in the street. His lawyer said he was being singled out because of his celebrity. Mill was in town to perform on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

His lawyer has said he will appeal the decision.