Petition Calls For LA City Attorney To Drop Charges Against BLM Activist And Professor Dr. Melina Abdullah
Dr. Abdullah is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors has spearheaded a movement to force Los Angeles' city attorney to drop charges against an activist arrested for protesting.
Cullors launched a petition last month demanding to drop eight charges against professor, activist and co-founder of the LA chapter of BLM, Dr. Melina Abdullah. As of this report, the petition has garnered nearly 11,000 signatures out of its 15,000 goal.
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Abdullah was arrested in 2018 at an L.A. Police Commission hearing during a demonstration for Wakiesha Wilson. In 2016, Wilson was found dead in a jail cell on Easter Sunday in what was believed to be death by suicide.
Activists and family members refuted claims that the 36-year-old took her life. There is a shared belief the woman was in an altercation with Metropolitan Detention Center officers. The victim's family was not initially told about the woman's death.
The city of Los Angeles gave $300,000 to Wilson's family to settle the controversial case, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Abdullah's troubles began after she was involved in a chaotic scene at the hearing. Sheila Hines-Brim, a fellow protester who is also Wilson's aunt, allegedly threw a powdery substance that landed on a few officers in attendance. It was supposedly meant to represent Wilson's ashes, according to Fox 11.
Both women were released on $20,000 bail bonds, police said. However, Abdullah continues to face the eight charges."We demand that Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer end the criminalization of Black protest and immediately drop all charges against Dr. Melina Abdullah—professor, mother, organizer, and founding member of Black Lives Matter," the petition read.
Demand Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Drop All Charges Against Dr. Melina Abdullah | OrganizeFor sign this petition now! https://t.co/nI78i9iRQf— patrisse cullors (@OsopePatrisse) January 23, 2019
In the body of the petition, Cullors claim Feur is punishing the longtime activist to make a statement.
"Your decision to prosecute Black protestors also fits into a much larger picture in which the federal government is attempting to criminalize Black people and even labels them as 'terrorists' and 'extremists' for daring to struggle against police brutality, abuse, and killings," she wrote.
Other groups have dedicated their time and resources to fight for Abdullah. The Peoples College of Law and Scholars for Black Lives are just a few.
.@docmellymel has come under fire from @cityattorneyLA for her activism to hold public officials accountable. Facing eight baseless charges, this is a broader effort to criminalize Black protest. Join our demand to dismiss all charges at https://t.co/UelK1y9zWQ. #standwithmelina pic.twitter.com/Na1PdPCtiJ— Scholars4BlackLives (@S4BLCollective) January 22, 2019
Abdullah will appear in court Thursday.