Black Lives Matter Activist Found Guilty of Interfering with Pasadena Police

Jason Song, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2016

A Black Lives Matter activist has been found guilty of interfering with Pasadena police officers as they were taking a suspect into custody last year.

Jasmine Richards was arrested by Pasadena police in September, following a demonstration in La Pintoresca Park. Police arrived at the scene after a woman reportedly walked out of a restaurant in the 1300 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue without paying. The woman joined a group of people, including Richards, who had gathered at the park after a peace march, said her attorney, Nana Gyamfi.

When police took the woman into custody, Richards tried to start a riot, prosecutors said. Richards was arrested several days later after police reviewed evidence of the incident.

A jury arrived at their verdict Wednesday, and Richards is scheduled to be sentenced next week in Pasadena.

Gyamfi said that she was disappointed by the verdict and that her client was only peacefully showing her opposition to police activity.

“What I tried to get the jury to do is not equate blackness with violence. Just because you see black bodies and the black bodies are angry or disappointed or angry or cussing, that is not a crime,” she said. “Unfortunately, I was not able to do that.”

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