News and Commentary

BLM Leader: Capitol Police ‘Actively Enabled Terrorists’; Pushes ‘Twitter Storm’ For Controversial D.A.

Capitol riot “yet another reason to #AbolishThePolice.”
Melina Abdullah participates in the Hollywood talent agencies march to support Black Lives Matter protests on June 06, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Black Lives Matter organized a so-called “Twitter Storm” on Thursday to flood the social media platform with messages showing support for Los Angeles County’s new controversial district attorney George Gascón.

The activist group and its allies are pushing back against an internal revolt within the largest prosecutors office in America that has some deputy district attorneys actively resisting Gascón’s policy changes and progressive agenda.

Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of BLM’s L.A. chapter, said the unruly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday proved that “police are firmly on the side of white supremacy…which is why they oppose (Gascón) and the people who elected him.”

She said law enforcement “actively enabled terrorists,” calling the rebellion “yet another reason to #AbolishThePolice.”

“Police didn’t just ‘not do their jobs.’ They supported and actively enabled terrorists and took part in a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol,” she wrote. “This is who they are. They cannot be reformed.”

Law enforcement organizations have led the charge in condemning D.A. Gascón’s sweeping reforms, claiming he “is providing a MasterClass on the dangers of a politician running the D.A.’s office instead of an experienced prosecutor.”

BLM provided a toolkit for Twitter users interested in publicly displaying their enthusiasm for Gascón on Thursday, complete with 16 pre-written tweets, graphics, and instructions to post on a designated hashtag. The messages provided a link to an online letter that people can sign to express support for L.A.’s new direction.

“The strategy behind this is have the Twitter algorithm observe that we have MANY people talking using the #StandWithGascon as possible,” the guide explained. “By doing this, we get up into the trending ranks and more people will know about this critical work.”

Several Twitter users participating in Thursday’s action took aim at the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), a union representing rank-and-file LAPD officers, along with the Association of Deputy District Attorney (ADDA). The members of the latter include prosecutors working under Gascón.

Both groups took issue with a set of Gascón special directives, particularly the elimination of some sentencing enhancements, which serve as extra punishments added on to the charge of an underlying offense. Gascón also said he would not enforce California’s “Three Strike” law, which some prosecutors maintain is mandated by constitutional authority.

ADDA filed a civil lawsuit against Gascón last week to stop him “from breaking the law.”

“The @LAPPL is undermining the will of the people by obstructing @GeorgeGascon’s reforms,” tweeted Joe Sanberg. “That’s not how democracy works.”

Dr. Abdullah, a founding member of the BLM Global Network, urged allies to stand with D.A. Gascón shortly after he took the oath of office last month “because his enemies are coming with a vengeance.”

“Just as we hold electeds accountable when they harm communities, we must also stand with those leaders who advance justice,” she said, tagging Gascón on a Facebook post. “We’re with you George Gascón! Don’t let the a**holes who are dead set on maintaining an unjust system sway you.”

Contrary to some media reports, neither Abdullah nor Black Lives Matter endorsed Mr. Gascón during the election. However, BLM has often been credited for paving the way for his victory. The group invested years bird-dogging Jackie Lacey, the two-term incumbent, for her unwillingness to charge police officers who fatally shot civilians.

“Although I vehemently opposed Lacey and voted for Gascón, I didn’t endorse him when he ran,” Abdullah said. “Now that he’s in, I am deeply impressed by his commitment to meaningful change, his courage in the face of threats by some powerful adversaries, and his strong collaboration with progressive allies.”

Gascón’s first official meeting as D.A.-elect was with Black Lives Matter, their allies, and families of individuals who were shot and killed by police officers.

“What you have done in many ways, you have moved mountains,” Gascón told attendees at the Nov. 10 gathering. “That is why you are the first group that I have come to talk to because I do respect and honor what you have done.”

Related: Black Lives Matter Leader Stands With L.A.’s New Progressive D.A., ‘Don’t Let The A**Holes Sway You

Related: Newly-Elected Los Angeles County D.A. Meets With Black Lives Matter And Families of People Fatally Shot By Cops

Related: Los Angeles Prosecutors Union Sues New Progressive D.A. Gascón Over Special Orders

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