We must all speak out against the political prosecution of Black Lives Matter leader Jasmine Richards. As a white person on the outside and without a criminal record, I plan to lift up the voices and words of Black organizers and writers, especially those who have been through experiences like Jasmine’s (I will update once I find good pieces to share).
UPDATES (06/02/2016): Check out Richards’ amazing lawyer, Nana Gyamfi, and Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah talking about the case on Democracy Now.
(06/07/2016): Jasmine Richards has been sentenced to either 90 days (18 served) in county jail. Likely Judge Lu reasoned this as a compromise, far less than the maximum but still enough to keep the police on her side and try to terrorize young Black people into not defending themselves from police violence. But every day she spends in jail will be a disgrace to the idea of justice. More updates as they come.
But I have access to legal research engines and training so I thought I could help this conversation by explaining a little about the history of CA Penal Code § 405a. Jasmine is the first Black person to be convicted under the statute after a 2015 amendment attempted to hide the depraved irony California’s criminal law is perpetuating: