Black Lives Matter Activist Loses Lawsuit Against LAPD Over ‘Swatting’ Incident Response

by Gee NY
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Melina Abdullah speaks during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. Abdullah on Thursday, May 23, 2024, lost her lawsuit against the city's police department over its handling of hoax calls that brought a large law enforcement response to her home four years ago. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist in Los Angeles lost her lawsuit against the city’s police department regarding their response to hoax phone calls that resulted in a heavy law enforcement presence at her home.

Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM-LA and a professor at Cal State LA, filed the lawsuit after police responses to “swatting” calls in 2020 and 2021, which brought armed SWAT officers to her residence.

“Swatting” refers to making a false emergency call to provoke a police response to a specific location without cause.

The LAPD stated that the swatting calls were made by three teens motivated by racial hatred.

These calls falsely reported emergencies at Abdullah’s home, leading to armed officers surrounding her house and ordering her to come outside via loudspeaker.

Abdullah, a well-known critic of the police, claimed that the LAPD’s actions during the August 12, 2020 incident caused significant fear for her and her three children.

However, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, a jury ruled that the LAPD and the city were not liable for the incident.

“We lost,” BLM-LA posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The judge and the jury — which had no Black people — voted against us and for police violence. We will keep fighting.”

Abdullah did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Her attorney, Erin Darling, indicated that a statement would be released later.

During the trial, Sergeant James Mankey, one of the defendants, testified that authorities had received a call about a hostage situation at Abdullah’s home.

Despite being “70%” certain it was a hoax, Mankey ordered officers to approach the property in tactical gear, as he didn’t want to risk not responding if the 911 call had been genuine, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Abdullah’s legal team argued that the police targeted her due to her activism.

LAPD investigators revealed in 2021 that the teenagers, aged 13 to 16, connected via the Discord chat platform and were implicated in over 30 bomb threats and swatting incidents targeting video gamers, activists, schools, airports, places of worship, entertainment venues, and memorial parks.

Related Posts

Crown App