A well-known community activist has asked Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter leader to step down, saying that a recent demonstration by the group endangered the county’s top law enforcement official.
The call comes from Najee Ali, who has a long-standing feud with Black Lives Matter on whose activism style best represents the interests of the black community of L.A.
On Friday, during a press conference, Ali sentenced BLM-LA co-founder Melina Abdullah, who staged a protest in the residence of Los Angeles County district attorney Jackie Lacey on Monday. Protesters gathered on Lacey’s porch, slammed a drum and rang her bell around 5:30 in the morning. The interruption culminated in Lacey’s husband pointing a gun outside the couple’s front door, threatening to shoot offenders and ordering them to leave his property. Partial video of the meeting went viral.
#BREAKING This morning, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled out a gun against Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife outside their home. @BLMLA pic.twitter.com/wnCFMMvaWV
– Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) March 2, 2020
“Either they need to completely disband, or rearrange and place those in decision-making positions who actually know how to organize effective protest campaigns,” Ali told The Daily Wire.
Ali described the incident, which took place the day before the primary election, as a “cheap publicity stunt” that was “one of the stupidest protests in the history of Los Angeles activism.”
“Every murderer, rapist and violent criminal that Lacey has put in prison now has her home address thanks to Abdullah,” he said.
Lacey, a Democrat who was D.A. since 2012, it needs more than 50% of the vote to avoid a November outflow. According to the Los Angeles Times, the results remain pending, with hundreds of thousands of votes left.
Both Ali and Abdullah oppose Lacey’s reelection for similar reasons. However, Ali said that Abdullah’s tactics could have damaged efforts to elect a D.A. more progressive, influencing public sentiment in favor of Lacey.
Watch out for those who claim to speak for the black community, but don’t have an organizational subscription, only show up for cameras, but not for work, assault women, serve as police “advisers” and echo discussions white supremacists over black people who need to be civilized.@kcrw
– # BlackLivesMatter-LA (@BLMLA) March 6, 2020
“As she runs for a third term in office, it becomes imperative that she be held accountable,” Abdullah told the Los Angeles Times. “Demonstrating in the homes of public officials is a tried and true strategy employed by groups ranging from unions to students.”
Ali is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Crisis Response Team, a group that responds to traumatic incidents at the request of the police and firefighters, serving as a link between the victim and emergency personnel. In a recent column published by the Los Angeles Wave, Ali highlighted the history of puzzling BLM-LA approaches, which include assaulting a church during a city hall meeting that saw Mayor Garcetti. Subsequently, the pastor said that BLM activists “cursed” him in the sanctuary and accused them of “disrespect” and “verbal violence”.
“Black Lives Matter wants to represent its members as peaceful,” wrote Ali, “but the facts are Abdullah and other Black Lives Matter members and supporters have undertaken several public acts of intimidation of the city and religious leaders in recent years.”
He continued to refer to another protest in 2015, when Abdullah’s group gathered in Garcetti’s private residence on a Sunday at 6 am, asking for a meeting. Protesters camped on the sidewalk for three days in an action nicknamed #OccupyLAMayor.
Since then BLM-LA has organized other protests outside Garcetti’s home. While demonstrating against a police shooting in 2016, Abdullah appeared to have mocked Garcetti from the scene. He posted a video on Instagram, saying, “You can’t kill our children and think that your son is sleeping in peace … we are wearing your hood.” Garcetti’s daughter Maya was four years old at the time.
The following year, a court issued a restraining order against BLM-LA member Trevor Ferguson (also known as Trevor Gerard), who made uninvited visits to the home and office of a police commissioner. After hearing the testimony, a judge concluded that Ferguson intended to “incite fear”.
Abdullah once said to another LAPD commissioner: “We know where your ass lives and we have cars.”
Los Angeles attorney Mike Feuer Mike Feuer dropped eight criminal counts against Abdullah last summer because of his conduct at police commission meetings. The charges included the battery of a police officer and Abdullah could face prison if convicted. Prosecutors had agreed to dismiss the allegations if Abdullah had adhered to specific behavior guidelines for a six-month period. In February, after all counts had been officially withdrawn, Abdullah filed a federal lawsuit accusing the police of illegal arrests and the city prosecutor’s office of malicious persecution. She is represented pro bono by lawyer Carl E. Douglas, who became known nationally decades ago as a member of O.J. Simpson’s “Dream Team” of defense attorneys.