Black Lives Matter/LA has unveiled a new website the group says will help hold law enforcement accountable. www.prosecutekillercops.org includes the names of officers and deputies involved in fatal uses of force.
BLM/LA co-founder Dr. Melina Abdullah told me the website is a modern-day version of The Red Record, which was a 100-page listing of lynchings in the United States written in 1895 by investigative journalist, Ida B. Wells. Abdullah says the site is a compilation of data from sources like the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office; Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office; police records and family accounts.
Abdullah says the data begins with cases going back to 2013, the year Los Angeles County DA, Jackie Lacey, was elected to office. For the past 2 and a half years, BLM/LA has protested in front of Lacey’s office in downtown LA to call out what the group says is a lack of prosecution of law enforcement for all uses of force, especially fatal use of force.
The site has a pull-down menu with options that include searching for cases based on the name of an officer/deputy or a victim.
The information includes the name and agency of the officer/deputy. Some listings include badge numbers as well as a picture. Abdullah says this information is intended to empower people to apply public pressure to those officers, she says, murdered her people. As more information is made available about each officer/deputy the site will be updated.
I attended the website launch event on Wednesday night in Boyle Heights. Abdullah told the crowd the information on the site should be used to publicly shame and humiliate law enforcement. She says, for example, if an officer on the site is seen walking in a mall then people should call him out and make it known that the officer is not welcome in that business and that city. She pointed out the intent was not to make any physical threats but to use the information spiritually.
Abdullah and her colleague, Dr. Tabitha Jones Jolivet, spoke about their views of the nexus between slavery, the systemic oppression of black people and modern-day policing.
The meeting ended with some family members of those who have been killed speaking about the website and offering their story.
After my first story about this topic aired on KFI-AM 640, I received phone calls and emails with concerns, outrage and disdain for the website and its purpose.
As of airtime, I hadn’t received official reaction from law enforcement agencies and police unions/leagues.
Photos: Steve Gregory