Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Richards, Convicted of ‘Felony Lynching,’ Is Free

Angela Bronner Helm
Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards, or Jasmine Abdullah, is free from jail on June 18, 2016.
Twitter screenshot

Jasmine Richards, who also goes by “Jasmine Abdullah,” the Black Lives Matter activist who was convicted of “felony lynching” is now free on bail. The Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles Twitter page made the announcement Saturday.


Richards’ story had been a cause of outrage—one, because the charge of “lynching” had been leveled against a black person, when originally the laws were meant to protect black people; and two, because her conviction happened around the same time as that of sexual predator Brock Turner. Both Turner and Richards received roughly the same sentences—about three months in jail—though her charge seemed retaliatory and thin, while Brock was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at a Stanford fraternity party. White male justice. Black woman just-us.

It all began in August 2015, when Richards was arrested at a rally at La Pintoresca Park in Pasadena, Calif, reports the Pasadena Star News. Police were attempting to arrest another woman accused of fighting with staff at a nearby restaurant when Richards attempted “de-arrest” her by pulling her away from police.

The paper reports that Richards is a frequent figure at Pasadena’s council meetings, where she often advocated for police reforms and sometimes had tense exchanges with police officers in the audience. With her arrest, she was facing up to four years for “felony lynching,” though she eventually received a sentence of 90 days. The law was originally meant to prevent mobs from taking black people out of police custody and administering “vigilante justice” or hanging them from a tree. To charge a black woman with the crime was the height of insult for many. There was no mob present or a riot, and yet she was still charged with “lynching.”

Since her conviction, #FreeJasmine had been a rallying cry, and many took to social media to celebrate her freedom.


Welcome home, Jasmine!

Read more at the Pasadena Star News.

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