Matt Johnson, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission, has been granted a restraining order against a Black Lives Matter protester named Trevor Gerard. In paperwork requesting the restraining order Johnson accuses Gerard of making threats against him and his family. From the LA Weekly:
The City Attorney’s Office filed for the restraining order on Johnson’s behalf on Dec. 19, one day after a local coalition of activists, including members of Black Lives Matter L.A., staged a demonstration outside Johnson’s private residence in Sherman Oaks…
Johnson’s request for a restraining order states that Gerard’s comments at board meetings “are almost always angry and hostile.” In it, Johnson alleges that Gerard made statements both in public comment and from the audience “that I should be scared of him and that I should meet with him, apparently not while in a board meeting.” Gerard denies this.
Elsewhere in the restraining order request, Johnson states that Gerard mouthed threats to him from the audience while the board meeting was in progress. As Johnson states in the complaint: “These comments include ‘I’m going to beat your a**’ and ‘I am going to f**king kill you.’ These threats were made while he was looking directly at me, but because he did not speak them aloud, there was no recording.”
Gerard denies most of the allegations though not the part about him mouthing things to Johnson during a board meeting. Gerard merely says his communications were misunderstood. He tells the LA Weekly he didn’t threaten to beat Johnson’s a**, rather he called him a “bitch-a** houseboy.” I guess that’s better but mouthing racial epithets at someone during a public meeting seems pretty unhinged. The strangest part of this may be that Matt Johnson appears to support the kind of reforms that Black Lives Matter would be expected to support:
As police commission president, Johnson has advocated for use-of-force policies that emphasize de-escalation and the use of minimal force in encounters with the public. He also has supported efforts to get LAPD to share more information with the public about shootings by officers.
Here’s a YouTube video of Gerard bringing up Johnson’s children during a statement before the Commission: