BLM Co-Founder Loses Lawsuit Against LAPD

AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File

Melina Abdullah is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles. She's also Cornel West's running mate in his run for president. When she's not out protesting or campaigning, Abdullah is a professor at Cal State LA. She recently made news for her opinion that Taylor Swift fans are "slightly racist."


Someone reacted to that with sarcasm but Abdullah's response tells you a lot about her.

Lately, Abdullah has been spending her time on lawsuits. Last year she filed one against BLM Global Network Foundation and a consulting firm that she accused of siphoning off $10 million dollars in donations. A judge tossed that lawsuit and ordered her to pay at least some of her opponents attorney fees.

Los Angeles-based activist Melina Abdullah has already been ordered to pay $100,698 in legal fees to Bowers Consulting, a firm run by Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation leader Shalomyah Bowers, according to a decision this month by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge,

“Melina Abdullah sought a lawsuit of lies to try and gain power, and it didn’t work,” Bowers said in an exclusive statement to The Post Wednesday. “I am happy a judge resoundingly dismissed Melina’s lawsuit a few months ago, but it was also really important that there be some accountability for her actions because free speech does not allow you to propagate lies … We’re thankful the judge is holding her accountable.”

And that brings us to the other lawsuit that Abdullah filed, this one against the LAPD. In August of 2020, Abdullah was the victim of a swatting attempt. Police suspected it might be a hoax but showed up to her house anyway.


The sergeant, James Mankey, one of the defendants in the case, told jurors he didn’t want to take the chance of not sending the officers if the 911 report of hostages inside the home turned out to be true. Police later determined that Abdullah had been the victim of a “swatting” prank; she sued the city over the LAPD’s response to the incident, saying she and her three children were left fearing for their lives when officers aggressively approached their home. Her attorneys have alleged police targeted her because of her activism.

In August 2020, the LAPD received an emergency call from a person who demanded $1 million or he would shoot the three people he’d taken hostage. He gave police the address to Abdullah’s home. Police dispatched more than a dozen officers and a helicopter to the scene, one of Abdullah’s attorneys, Erin Darling, said in his opening statement, but ignored evidence suggesting the call was a prank and continued with their armed response.

Swatting is scary and in this case, Abdullah had her three kids at home with her, the oldest of whom was sixteen. She told them to hide in the back of the house while she went out to talk to the police. She also started a livestream and asked supporters to come to her house and to contact her friends in city government. Police quickly determined this was a hoax/swatting and left but Abdullah's lawsuit accused them of seeking to punish her for her anti-police activism with BLM.


This week she lost that case after a jury sided with the LAPD argument that this incident was handled by the book.

Abdullah alleged that law enforcement’s response to the so-called swatting incident — which involved deploying officers with guns at the ready to her doorstep — was an act of intimidation in response to her high-profile advocacy against police violence...

Abdullah was accused of seeking preferential treatment, and jurors heard portions of an Instagram livestream she broadcast during the incident in which she asked her followers to contact two City Council members she was friends with and asked police, “Do you know who I am?”...

[City Attorney] Bojorquez later played video from Abdullah’s livestream on Instagram, which captured her laughing as she walked back toward her house after speaking to officers. He commented that it didn’t appear as though she had suffered any great trauma, as her lawsuit claimed. She said that everyone responded to trauma differently, including in ways such as laughter that are in contrast with the gravity of the moment.

As for the idea that police showed up at her house in an attempt to intimidate her, there was no evidence of that. Body cam video showed that Sgt. Mankey didn't know who she was until he looked her up as he was responding to the call.

Darling played for jurors video from Mankey’s body-worn camera, which captured him ducking into his police squad car to pull up Abdullah’s Facebook account. He is later heard telling a police colleague that “she’s some kind of organizer with Black Lives Matter.”

Mankey testified that prior to the incident he did not recognize Abdullah, despite her reputation as one of the most prominent critics of the LAPD.

At some point during the incident, a detective is heard informing Mankey that Abdullah was a “leader” of Black Lives Matter.”


Mankey testified he was 70% sure the call was a hoax but said he couldn't risk being wrong. In 2021, police tracked down the source of the call. It was three teenagers who had made more than two dozen similar calls. Police said they were motivated by racial animus.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Friday that a group of teenagers motivated by racial hatred is responsible for two separate “swatting” incidents at the home of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles leader Melina Abdullah...

The teens, ages 13 to 16, were connected via the online chat platform Discord and are also suspected in 30 other false emergency threats across the country since July 2020, targeting “other online persons, video gamers, activists, schools, airports, houses of worship, entertainment venues and memorial parks,” the LAPD said.

The teens deserve to go to jail for what they did to Abdullah and others. But it makes no sense to punish the police who were responding to protect her from an alleged intruder. They may have thought the call sounded suspect, but as their attorney pointed out during the trial, they don't have the option of deciding to ignore some situations based on a hunch.

After the loss in court, Abdullah held a Zoom press conference in which she said, among other things, that several attorneys she spoke to weren't interested in taking this case initially. I'm not surprised by that. They could probably see this was a loser from the start. Abdullah's team has indicated they plan to appeal.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos