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Black Lives Matter leader charged with battery on a police officer. She says charges are ‘attempt to criminalize Black protest.’
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter leader charged with battery on a police officer. She says charges are ‘attempt to criminalize Black protest.’

Not sure that's how that works

Dr. Melina Abdullah — a California State University professor and a Black Lives Matter leader in Los Angeles — faces charges stemming from her anti-police activism.

One of the charges includes battery on a Los Angeles Police Department officer. Abdullah could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

Abdullah, however, says that the charges are little more than an "attempt to criminalize Black protest."

According to her Twitter bio, Abdullah, 46, is "Professor & Chair of Pan-African Studies at Cal State LA, #BlackLivesMatter organizer, Pan-Africanist, Hip Hop scholar, womanist, truth-teller, mama."

What are the details of her arrest?

Charges against Abdullah are connected to her alleged continued behaviors at LAPD commission meetings.

Abdullah and others — including other members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles — have reportedly attended such meetings and disrupted them with regularity.

Abdullah has said that her attendance and demonstration at such meetings is in an advocacy capacity for families who have experienced police brutality and excessive force.

At least 17 officers are prepared to testify that Abdullah has gone above and beyond the parameters of free speech and demonstration and has begun entering into territory of "obstructing and intimidating" commissioners, according to a report by the Daily Wire.

Authorities charged Abdullah with eight misdemeanor counts involving altercations that reportedly took place on three separate occasions.

Charges include one count each of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, refusing to disperse, and interfering or obstructing a public business establishment. Other charges include three counts of unlawfully disturbing and breaking up an assembly and meeting, and two counts of unlawfully and intentionally interfering with the business of the LAPD commission.

The battery charge against Abdullah stems from a reported incident in which Abdullah reportedly grabbed an officer's arm during a protest that had gotten out of hand.

What is she saying about the charges?

Abdullah shared a Facebook post Saturday, writing, "As folks may know, the Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, is prosecuting me for protesting police brutality. This is about so much more than me. It's an attempt to criminalize Black protest. We ain't having that!"

The activist is being represented by what the Daily Wire calls "an assortment of progressive lawyers led by Carl E. Douglas," who is a protégé of the late Johnnie Cochran, who famously represented O.J. Simpson.

"[Douglas] volunteered to represent me," Abdullah said. "This is the way that he contributes to our movement."

Last week, Douglas and Abdullah made a statement to supporters who showed up to a pre-trial hearing.

Shouting through a megaphone, Abdullah said, "They are killing our people, and then they are criminalizing us for having the audacity to push back! What kind of backward world do they think we live in? We're not the criminals! They are!"

Douglas told Abdullah's supporters that she will not plea to assaulting an officer.

"I give you my word that there will be no plea to an assault on a police officer," Douglas said. "If we cannot reach a resolution that satisfies my client, there will be a trial. And at that trial, we will expose the corruption of the LAPD."

What else?

After the pre-trial hearing, Abdullah demanded the gathering crowd march to LAPD headquarters to disrupt a police commission meeting.

"Fill up that room!" Abdullah cried. "Scare the s**t out of them!"

Activists obliged, and marched to the headquarters. The commission meeting was ultimately adjourned after one of the demonstrators reportedly threatened physical violence against one of the officers in attendance.

Abdullah's next court date is set for Feb. 7.

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Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Sarah is a former staff writer for TheBlaze, and a former managing editor and producer at TMZ. She resides in Delaware with her family. You can reach her via Twitter at @thesarahdtaylor.