THIS is a perversion of justice that should have never happened and can not be allowed to stand. California Jerry Brown should exercise whatever authority he has to pardon Jasmine Richards. From +Democracy Now! .....
Black Lives Matter Activist Convicted of "Felony Lynching": "It's More Than Ironic, It's Disgusting"
In Pasadena, California, Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine Richards is facing four years in state prison after she was convicted of a rarely used statute in California law originally known as "felony lynching." Under California’s penal code, "felony lynching" was defined as attempting to take a person out of police custody. Jasmine was arrested and charged with felony lynching last September, after police accused her of trying to de-arrest someone during a peace march at La Pintoresca Park in Pasadena on August 29, 2015. The arrest and jailing of a young black female activist on charges of felony lynching sparked a firestorm of controversy. Historically, the crime of lynching refers to when a white lynch mob takes a black person out of the custody of the police for the purpose of extrajudicially hanging them. In fact, the law’s name was so controversial that less than two months before Jasmine was arrested, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation removing the word "lynching" from the penal code. We speak with Richards’ lawyer, Nana Gyamfi, and Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah. "Her conviction is not only about punishing Jasmine Richards, but also is the lynching," Abdullah says. "So it’s really disgusting and ironic that she’s charged and convicted with felony lynching, when the real lynching that’s carried out is done in the same way it was carried out in the late 19th, early 20th century, where it’s supposed to punish those who dare to rise up against a system."
JASMINE RICHARDS: Jasmine Richards. I’m with Black Lives Matter Pasadena. I’m an organizer. I’m the founder of Black Lives Matter Pasadena. Black Lives Matter Pasadena is actually located 15 minutes away from Los Angeles. We’re right up the hill, northwest. I started Black Lives Matter Pasadena in January of 2015. The reason for this is because I felt like we didn’t have any community programs or anything happening in my community. And there’s been a lot of youth that have been killed by the Pasadena police. Kendrec McDade is currently the youth that I am specifically doing all these actions around. Leroy Barnes, he was killed by the Pasadena police. Big homie named Big BA also killed by the Pasadena police. Our police have been notorious for bullying. Since I was a child, these police have scared me. They’ve harassed me, they’ve scared me. I know their first and last names. I felt like we needed a group out here that stood up to that injustice. Instead all of us being scared and just doing—wasting our time and not organizing and sitting at the park without any programs to help us, I felt like I should do something.