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Criminal Case Dismissed Against Black Lives Matter Leader
By City News Service
Published August 16, 2019

Attorney Carl Douglas hugs Black Lives Matter leader Dr. Melina Abdullah (Courtesy Photo)

All criminal charges have been dismissed against a prominent local Black Lives Matter leader arrested after a raucous Los Angeles Police Commission meeting last year, her attorney announced.

City prosecutors said in February that they had agreed to drop the case in six months if Melina Abdullah, a Cal State Los Angeles professor and Black Lives Matter organizer, adhered to guidelines aimed at preventing her from disrupting Los Angeles Police Commission meetings.

The guidelines included exiting and not returning to the meeting if she was found to be disrupting the proceedings and ordered to leave.

“We celebrate the City Attorney’s decision to dismiss all charges against Dr. Abdullah. While the dismissal of all charges against this noble warrior is a great victory, the battle for justice is not over,” defense attorney Carl Douglas said Friday, noting that he intends to file a federal civil rights lawsuit on her behalf.

Abdullah was arrested at a Police Commission meeting on May 8, 2018, along with another woman, Sheila Brim, whom authorities said threw a powdery substance at then-Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Brim’s niece, Wakiesha Wilson, died in police custody in 2016, and Brim suggested at the meeting that the powder was Wilson’s ashes.

Brim reached a separate agreement with prosecutors to resolve four misdemeanor charges stemming from her actions at the meeting.

Abdullah was charged with misdemeanor battery on a police officer stemming from the commission meeting, but also was charged with seven other counts including interfering or obstructing a public business establishment and interfering with the lawful business of the Police Commission — the majority involving alleged crimes in July and August 2017.

“From the outset, our goal has been to ensure that commission meetings are not disrupted in ways that prevent other members of the public from participating, while protecting individuals’ right to say what they mean,” City Attorney’s spokesman Rob Wilcox said after the disposition agreement was reached in February. “The defendant’s agreement to abide by this disposition strikes that balance.”

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