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Democracy Now!

Black Lives Matter vs. the LAPD: Are the Police Unfairly Targeting & Surveilling the Movement?

Prosecutors in Los Angeles are determining whether to retry six Black Lives Matter activists whose trial recently ended in a hung jury. The six face misdemeanor charges for barricading the 101 freeway in Los Angeles in November 2014. That action was in response to the non-indictment of former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown three months earlier. Activist Rosa Clemente was also tried but was acquitted. Supporters say the prosecution is part of a larger effort by the LAPD and City Attorney’s Office targeting Black Lives Matter activists in Los Angeles. Melina Abdullah, an organizer with Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, describes how many protesters facing charges were under surveillance and how some had letters sent to their homes from the LAPD and the U.S. Justice Department. Abdullah is professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. We also speak with Nana Gyamfi, a criminal defense and human rights attorney who represents Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles.

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