Black Lives Matter Organizer Convicted of Bogus 'Lynching' Charge
Tell Judge Lu : No Jail Time for Jasmine !
On Wednesday, 29-year-old Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine "Abdullah" Richards was wrongfully convicted of attempted felony "lynching".The lead organizer for the Pasadena Black Lives Matter chapter, Jasmine was found guilty of charges related to an attempt to shield a Black woman from what Jasmine believed to be unlawful detainment by Pasadena police following a "Peace March" that she and the chapter organized.1
There are no allegations of violence and no injuries suffered as a result of Jasmine's peaceful intervention attempt but she could face as much as 4 years in prison. This is a blatant effort by the Pasadena Police Department and L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacie to punish Jasmine for her leadership and intimidate the entire movement. We still have a chance to free Jasmine by pressuring the democratically elected judge not to sentence her to jail time.
Will you join us in standing with Jasmine Richards and tell Judge Elaine Lu not to sentence Jasmine to jail time?
Jasmine's personal story is as inspiring as anyone's who has come into the Black Lives Matter Movement. Growing up in Pasadena, she has said she felt 'lost' until having a political awakening inspired by the Ferguson protests in 2014.2 Jasmine traveled to Ferguson as part of the 'Black Lives Matter Rides' and returned home feeling the call to fight back against police violence.
Unfortunately, her newfound purpose was met with aggressive harassment by law enforcement. Jasmine was repeatedly targeted for arrest and faced exorbitant bail amounts and excessive charges.3 Now local police and prosecutors have taken the extreme step of convicting Jasmine of felony attempted lynching - labeling her 'Peace March' a riot in order to bring the "lynching" charge and comparing Black Lives Matter to the Klu Klux Klan in the process.
Jasmine is currently being held in Los Angeles County jail while she awaits her sentencing hearing on Tuesday. Her charges are a disgusting misapplication of a 1933 California law intended to stop lynch mobs from forcibly removing detainees from police custody and engaging in public murders of Black people.4
Turning Jasmine into a political prisoner under a law that was created to protect Black people from race-based mob violence at the height of America's lynching epidemic is insulting to the Black community and all people of conscience. It would set a dangerous precedent and only exacerbate the lack of confidence Black communities have in the criminal justice system.
Arisha, Rashad, Scott, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
1. "Black Lives Matter Leader Convicted of Lynching" Los Angeles Peoples Media, 6.1.16 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/6369?t=7&akid=5881.1942551.7QiOfG
3. See reference 1.
4. "How California's Lynching Law is being used against activists" Raw Story, 4.10.15 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6370?t=9&akid=5881.1942551.7QiOfG