Jasmine Richards (Abdullah), 29, is the founder of the Pasadena Chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM). According to The Advocate, Richards was sentenced this morning at the Pasadena Courthouse for ‘felony lynching.’ She received a 72-day sentence with a credit of 18 days served. Her total sentence is 90 days. The maximum sentence for ‘felony lynching’ is four years.
Black Lives Matter Founded By Black Queer Women
Richards is a Queer Black Activist, and shares the title with Alicia Garza, 34, and Patrice Cullor, 32, two of the BLM co-founders. Opal Tometi is the third co-founder in a movement that was founded by three women. While many people of all races continue to criticize BLM, these women stand for men, women, and children who continue to face police brutality and state-sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies.
Too often, it isn’t reciprocal. Richard’s commitment to the movement is strong. She unabashedly organized youth, both queer and straight, in leading peaceful demonstrations and addressing the injustice that many people in black communities face daily.
‘Felony Lynching’ Is Creative Word Play And Pure F*ckery
Felony lynching is a controversial and antiquated California law that is basically defined as: Leading a mob incited riot that targets law enforcement and prohibits them from doing their jobs. Richards was convicted for something her attorney, Nana Gyamfi, maintains she did not do. Over 80,000 signatures were gathered in less than a week. The “No Jail Time for Jasmine” petitions and the #FreeJasmine hashtag, that was shared across social media, led the way.
University of California professor, Dr. Melina Abdullah, spoke with peaceful demonstrators outside of the courthouse where she shared the sentencing results. She encouraged people in attendance, and those watching via Livestream, to join their local BLM chapters.
Richards First Political Prisoner In BLM Movement
Dr. Abdullah shared that there will be an appeal to the sentencing while stating the importance of continuing the work. She noted that Richards is the first political prisoner in the BLM movement saying:
“We are here to free Jasmine and all political prisoners, and we’re here to free our people.”
Ludicrous To Compare BLM To The KKK
There are those who continue to compare BLM with the KKK. If you put the two organizations side-by-side there really is no comparison. The Klan, which includes members of law enforcement, have terrorized black families by literally lynching black men and women.
BLM is a movement that supports black and brown people to move about their communities freely without being policed. Still not clear? Open a history book or talk to black elders who were victimized by Jim Crow lynchings and the KKK.
Richards is the first black woman to be charged with ‘felony lynching’ in the U.S.. You can donate to her legal defense fund here: https://www.crowdrise.com/blmla