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Black Lives Matter supporters were outraged Thursday at the conviction of a Pasadena protest organizer Jasmine Richards who, police said, tried to help a prisoner escape custody.
The charge is officially known as Attempting to Unlawfully Remove a Suspect from Police Officers but, until Gov. Jerry Brown changed it last year, it was known as felony lynching.
The law stemmed from the practice of mobs taking a prisoner from custody and lynching them. Richards, who goes by the name Jasmine Abdullah, is the first African-American ever tried on the charge, Pasadena Now reported.
Richards was arrested in September 2015 after police said she interfered with their arrest of a woman, Benita Escoe, who is alleged to have eaten at a restaurant and skipped out on the bill, according to Pasadena Star News.
According to police, Escoe ran to the protective arms of a Black Lives Matter protest that was taking place across the street.
When police attempted to arrest Escoe they were surrounded by Richards and other protesters who didn’t want the arrest to occur and who complained that the officers were engaging in “police brutality.”
On Thursday the formerly strong and defiant Richards was reduced to tears in the courthouse.
“I don’t want go to jail,” Richards said to her attorney Nana Gyamfi. “I don’t want to go through this anymore.”
She probably should have thought of that before she interfered with police business.
It wasn’t Richards first brush with the law either, according to the Pasadena Star News.
Richards was previously arrested in late March on suspicion of making criminal threats, assault, trespassing, failure to comply with police orders, disturbing the peace, using a amplified sound without a permit and petty theft.
She faces up to four years in prison on the “lynching” conviction though the probation department has recommended 365 days, plus one day.
Black Lives Matter supporters on social media didn’t care that Richards broke the law and insisted she is a political prisoner.
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— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 2, 2016
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 2, 2016
— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) June 3, 2016
— Sisters Uncut (@SistersUncut) June 3, 2016
So many Black women were lynched by white supremacists who walked free, and here we are saying #FreeJasmine in 2016.
— ahmad greene (@_BrothaG) June 3, 2016
— Benjamin YoungSavage (@benjancewicz) June 3, 2016
Others lashed out at those calling for her to be freed.
— Oppressive Shitlord (@PCiscancerous) June 2, 2016
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 2, 2016
@Cernovich She should be freed out of a helicopter.
— Scarlett Blackadder (@thestonedest) June 2, 2016
— flyingeagle (@halsteadg048) June 2, 2016
@PCiscancerous It is. It’s criminal worship. How anyone can justify the acts of these people is beyond me.
— LERF (@Logan21Thompson) June 2, 2016
@williamcson stop your outrage. She attempted to break someone out of police custody.
— Wilson (@CalebWilson15) June 2, 2016
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