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Black Lives Matter leader and Professor Dr. Melina Abdullah Announces Lawsuit Against City of Los Angeles and Former Police Chief
By Saybin Roberson Contributing Writer
Published February 27, 2020

Attorney Carl Douglas and Dr. Melina Abdullah in front of Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters (Photographed by Saybin Roberson)

Black Lives Matter’s Dr. Melina Abdullah and her law team held a press conference in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters to announce the filing of a lawsuit regarding an arrest at the Police Commission meeting in 2018.

Dr. Abdullah, a mother, leader and professor was arrested on May 8, 2018, during a meeting of the Commission. An advocate for Black Lives Matter’s (BLM), Dr. Abdullah often makes it her duty to attend meetings and vocalize and fight for the rights of Black and Brown people alike. However, as co-founder of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter, she is also targeted by the LAPD, which according to lawyers, was the case on the day of her arrest.

Carl Douglas of Douglas Hicks Law announced Tuesday, February 11, 2020, the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Abdullah under claims that she was falsely, wrongfully and intentionally detained, imprisoned and arrested.

“I have spent the last 40 years of my life dedicating myself and protecting Los Angelenos, who have this mistreated and by wrongful conduct of the LAPD,” Douglas stated. “The story of Dr. Melina Abdullah is one that should resonate for all Angelenos.”

“At a police commission hearing right inside this very building, a detective by the name of Jason Curtis, we allege, intentionally – malicious and wrongfully accused Dr. Melina of assaulting and of battering, knowing full well that those allegations are false,” he continued.

The lawsuit mentioned not only Detective Jason Lewis but former police chief Charlie Beck, various unnamed officers and the city of Los Angeles. Together, Dr. Abdullah and Douglas and his team are suing on the grounds of unreasonable search and seizure – false imprisonment an arrest, malicious prosecution and constitutional supervisor liability.

Douglas explains during the announcement, the LAPD has tried to silence Dr. Abdullah previously, but she will continue fighting for her rights and those in need. “If anyone knows anything about Dr. Melina in that she will not be silenced. That she will continue to stand for justice.”

Dr. Melina Abdullah addressing the press with passion (Photographed by Saybin Roberson)

He continued, “By this lawsuit, we hope to make the LAPD better. By this lawsuit, we intend to expose the corruption of one dirty officer. By this lawsuit, we intend to make Los Angeles better, one cop at a time.”

Dr. Abdullah also spoke on her behalf during the announcement. Her experience has been unideal; however, it is a fight she is willing to make to clear the LAPD of its corrupt officers.

She begins by thanking her legal team for supporting and standing with her, “Rather than just resolve ourselves to respond to mode,” she states.

“Although legal defense is hugely important, it’s also important that we understand the history of using the law to usher in justice,” she continued. “I’m also thankful to be a part of a movement that is committed to doing our best to honor the lives of our ancestors and honor the history of Black freedom struggle. So, I’m thankful to be a part of Black Lives Matter. I’m thankful for comrades and White people for Black lives and all of those who stand here every single Tuesday,” which is when the meetings are held for the public.

She shares the organization has been in attendance for the past six years, putting pressure on the police to stop killing Black and Brown people.

“The police who kill our people need to be held accountable. Rather than LAPD correcting itself; rather than LAPD trying to clean its own house, they actually criminalize us for speaking out.”

Listing off names of individuals who have been murdered, brutalized and harassed by police regularly for emphasis.

Acknowledging Black History Month, she states she will continue to move in the likes of her ancestors and those who paved a way for Black people.

“It’s a tradition of nonviolent direct action, which we celebrate all month, this month created by Black protesters.

“The accusation that I would commit any sort of violent act is a huge insult. In fact, what we’re trying to do is stop them from committing violence on Blacks.

“This is the work that we’re committed to, and we’re struggling forward. We hope that this lawsuit will do something in terms of pushing back a police department that acts violently not only within communities; but upon those here to speak up in the name of our community.”

Due to BLM member practices, there are photographs and videos of the incident that will be used to fight Dr. Abdullah’s case.

“Cops lie all the time for a variety of reasons and rarely can we prove that they are lying. This is a case where it can be proved, unmistakably that the allegations against Dr. Melina are false,” Douglas stated. “I am confident that we will prevail, that we will expose the corruption that is endemic in the LAPD that there will be a sizable recognition of the harm that she has suffered.”

Douglas and Dr. Abdullah surrounded by her full law team

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