L.A. City Attorney Drops Criminal Charges Against Black Lives Matter Leader Amid Public Outcry
Los Angeles officials agreed Thursday to drop all criminal charges against one of the city’s most visible Black Lives Matter organizers as part of a negotiated arrangement after hundreds of activists filed petitions, filled courtrooms and led rallies in recent weeks accusing prosecutors and police of using the charges to silence a critical voice.
Melina Abdullah, a Cal State L.A. professor who often speaks out against Los Angeles Police Department policies, was facing charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, as well as multiple counts of disturbing a public meeting and unlawful assembly in connection with incidents that took place during the often-contentious gatherings of the city’s civilian Police Commission in 2017 and 2018.
But Thursday, the Los Angeles city attorney’s office and Abdullah’s defense team reached an agreement that could result in the dismissal of all charges by August and alter some rules governing Police Commission meetings.
Under the terms of the agreement, officers would arrest Abdullah for a perceived disruption only if she refused to leave the building after being given a verbal warning and being ejected from a meeting. If Abdullah violates the agreement before her next court date Aug. 8, the city attorney’s office could decide to prosecute her on the original charges. Otherwise, all eight counts would be dismissed, according to court documents.
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