Drop “Lynching” Charges Against Peaceful Black Activist

Target: Pasadena City Prosecutor Michele Beal Bagneris

Goal: Drop charges of “lynching” against Black Lives Matter protester for trying to shield another activist from harm.

A young Black Lives Matter activist was convicted of felony “lynching” because she tried to shield a fellow protester from being violently detained by police in a gross misinterpretation of a law intended to protect black people from being murdered by racists. The law was originally created because mobs of racist white people would try to drag black individuals out of police custody to be hung from a tree–also known as actual lynching.

Jasmine “Abdullah” Richards is a black woman, and the last thing she was trying to do was murder a fellow black activist via lynching. She was simply trying to save the other person from what she viewed to be unlawful detainment during a peaceful protest march.

It’s disgusting to charge her with felony lynching for this, especially since it could end in her being sentenced to four years in prison for an entirely non-violent action that resulted in no injuries. The misuse of the lynching law and possibly harsh sentencing is though to be an intimidation technique by the police department against the Black Lives Matter movement that has called out police violence across the nation.

Unfortunately, since the conviction has already occurred, the charge will remain on Richards’ record, but the charges can still be dropped to spare her of an unjust prison sentence. Sign our petition to demand that the felony lynching charges be immediately dropped.


Dear Ms. Bagneris,

Jasmine Richards was just convicted of felony lynching for trying to prevent what she viewed as the wrongful arrest of a fellow activist during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. This is a gross misuse of a law meant to protect black people from bloodthirsty mobs of white racists who wanted to actually lynch them.

Charging her with obstruction of justice might have been a reasonable course of action. Charging her with lynching when there’s no possible way that was her intent in trying to interfere with an arrest is a complete insult to those who were brutally murdered in this fashion so often in the early to mid 1900s. This is a clear attempt to intimidate the Black Lives Matter movement and in the process you’re spitting on every black person in the country.

Richards may have been convicted, but this doesn’t make the charge just. We demand that you immediately drop these disgusting lynching charges to spare this young women of unnecessary prison time.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tony Webster

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