Prominent Black Lives Matter activist Jazmine Richards was convicted Wednesday of felony lynching after preventing police from arresting a suspect in case that fellow activists are now hailing as a “political prosecution.”
Two days after an altercation with police last August, Richards was arrested and slapped with four charges for attempting to prevent Pasadena police from arresting a woman who had walked out on her restaurant bill. A unanimous jury convicted Richards of “attempting to unlawfully remove a suspect from police” custody, a law that was formerly referred to as a “lynching.”
Under California penal code, she could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.
On the night of Aug. 29., an unnamed woman left a Pasadena restaurant without paying her bill. She then crossed the street to a park where Black Lives Matter activists were congregating following after a protest march they had participated in.
When police arrived to arrest the woman, Richards and other activists stepped in to block the arrest.
As Lt. Tracey Ibarra first told “Pasadena Now”:
Officers then at that point attempted to go ahead and made contact regarding the assault that had occurred in the restaurant. When the officers attempted to detain her [the customer] then, part of the Black Lives Matter protest group attempted to intercede.
Reports say that Richards and other activists surrounded the cops and tried to block the police cars; some activists chanted “police brutality.”
Supporters are labeling Richards as a “political prisoner.”
Her lawyer Nana Gyamfi said:
This was a jury that could not tell the difference between a loud black person and a violent black person. This jury has nothing to be proud of.
Richards marched out the courthouse yesterday, chanting, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other!”
Richards will be formally sentenced for the lynching charge on June 7.
This report, by Amber Randall, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.