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L.A. District Attorney declines Black Lives Matter meeting

Tuesday’s meeting will occur at noon in the heart of the Skid Row district at the Los Angeles Community Action Network headquarters

Compton Herald | Jackie Lacey
Jackie Lacey, L.A. County District Attorney, during a 2012 news conference. Photo: Wikipedia/Neon Tommy

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles will hold community meeting on DA Jackie Lacey’s failure to prosecute fatal shootings of civilians by police, deputies

LOS ANGELES — Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (BLMLA) activists, supporters and the families of those killed in Los Angeles County by law enforcement will hold a community meeting, Tues., Jan. 23, on Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s failure to prosecute officers involved in fatal shootings of civilians.

Since Lacey’s election in 2012, more than 300 residents of L.A. County have been killed by the police or died while in custody. The district attorney’s office has not filed charges against any officer involved in an on-duty shooting in more than 15 years. Lacey hasn’t held a community meeting in South Los Angeles since 2016.

Compton Herald | Dr. Melina Abdullah

“No elected official should be able to escape meeting with or be allowed to refuse to meet with the community” — Dr. Melina Abdullah. Photo: Black Lives Matter Los Angeles

The last community meeting held was in October of 2016 and Lacey walked out of the meeting after matters between her and several local residents got heated. Family members of the attendees had been shot and killed by law enforcement personnel.

Lacey moved to confer a second time with BLMLA but reneged.

“Lacey called me twice,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. “First she said that she could do a community meeting and the next day she called me to say that after she slept on it that she thought it wasn’t a good idea. Lacey told me that she would only meet with the individual families of those killed by the police with open cases and that they could give her ‘the particulars.’  She said she would not meet with any activists —especially Black Lives Matter.

“Lacey is an elected official. No elected official should be able to escape meeting with or be allowed to refuse to meet with the community they’re elected by and ultimately responsible to,” Abdullah continued. “I told Lacey that Black Lives Matter was willing to work in a cooperative manner to address barriers that might be preventing her office from prosecuting officers involved in fatal shootings and she said she was not interested. As unpopular as the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s are, even they hold community meetings.  What makes her office exempt?”

Tuesday’s meeting will occur at noon in the heart of the Skid Row district at the Los Angeles Community Action Network headquarters located at 838 E. 6th St. [MAP]. Participants include Helen Jones, mother of John Thomas Horton III, who was found hanging in his cell in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in 2009, and Lisa Hines, mother of Wakiesha Wilson, who died at a hospital in 2016, an hour after she was found dead hanging in her cell in a Los Angeles jail.

The official ruling on the deaths of Horton and Wilson were never accepted by their families who both suspect law enforcement played a role in their deaths.

Other speakers include Valerie Rivera, mother of Eric Rivera who was as shot to death by LAPD officers, then run over by an uncontrolled patrol car in 2017, and Trisha Michael, the twin sister of Kisha Michael who was killed along with her boyfriend by Inglewood police in 2016 while sleeping in their car.

Activists from various community groups including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California will also be present.

In 2017, BLMLA delivered over 10,000 petitions delivered to Lacey asking her in her capacity as district attorney to prosecute officers involved in fatal shootings of civilians. According to Mapping Police Violence, 53 people were killed by police in the County in 2017.

Lacey is the first woman, and first African-American, to serve as L.A. District Attorney since the office was created in 1850. She was re-elected in 2016 unopposed.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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