Melina Abdullah, a prominent Los Angeles activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter L.A., has sued the city of L.A. and the Los Angeles Police Department over the department’s response to a 911 call last year in which a man falsely claimed to be holding people hostage at Abdullah’s home.
The August 2020 call, after a summer of contentious protests over police brutality that Abdullah helped organize, led to heavily armed LAPD officers surrounding Abdullah’s home until she came outside with her hands in the air while streaming the incident live on Instagram.
Police later determined the call was a “swatting” incident, one in which someone purposely calls in a false emergency in order to draw armed police to a location. Such incidents have been deadly in the past, spurring warnings from the FBI about the dangers they pose to those targeted.
In her lawsuit filed in California Superior Court on Tuesday, Abdullah said she had been terrified that police were going to shoot into her home and injure her children, and that they would shoot her if she walked outside in response to their commands to do so.
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