Meek Mill was denied entry to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Saturday night, Pitchfork and TMZ report. In a video on Instagram recorded from his car, the rapper can be seen speaking to venue security, who threatened to arrest him for “trespassing.” Meek Mill (born Robert Rihmeek Williams) claims that the incident was discriminatory, writing in the video’s caption that the venue was “going to extreme racist levels” to keep black people out of the resort.
In an interview about the incident with Pitchfork, Meek Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina said Williams was original at the Cosmopolitan to attend a Mustard concert. The rapper was then told by the hotel’s security team that he would be subject to arrest for trespassing if he were to step out of his car.
“How can you tell me I’m going to be locked up for trespassing?” Williams asks in his Instagram video. One of the men on the security team then replies that they reserve the right not to do business with the musician. “We’re a private property,” he says. “At this time, with the information we have, we’re refusing to do business with you. We have the right to do that.”
In a longer version of the same video obtained by TMZ, one of the other men on the security team reads Williams his rights, claiming that he will be “subject to arrest for a misdemeanor” if he enters the building. “Your subsequent return to these premises after being duly warned not to, will subject you to arrest for trespassing,” he says.
Following the incident, Williams’ attorney Joe Tacopina wrote a letter to Anthony Pearl, general counsel and chief compliance officer for the Cosmopolitan. As Pitchfork reports, the letter claims that the resort “maintains a list of African American recording artists who should be denied access for no other reason than their culture and skin color.” “Such course of conduct constitutes discrimination per se, in violation of state and federal law, and exposes you to significant monetary damages,” the letter continues.
The Cosmopolitan later declined to comment on the incident in a statement shared with Pitchfork. “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on legal maters,” the statement reads. “Our guests’ safety and security always remains our top priority.”
Update (May 28): The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas issued a statement today claiming the incident was “related to a matter of security, not race, and any reports citing otherwise are false.” You can read the full statement below:
At The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the safety and security of our guests is our top priority. The recent situation regarding Meek Mill related to a matter of security, not race, and any reports citing otherwise are false. We pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment, with zero tolerance for discrimination. Under different circumstances, Meek Mill would be welcomed to the resort, but not at the compromise of his personal safety and the safety of our guests.
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Cosmopolitan hotel/casino going to extreme racist levels to keep too many black entertainers and black people …. they said they gone lock me up.. I’m like for what I’ve been once to a party with jayz ….. Some of these casinos have a bunch of Tatics to keep the level of blacks down …. but love to take our money!!!! This happens to a lot of black entertainers not just me either!! I felt crazy being put out by these white men for no reason!