Two women were detained Tuesday when one of them allegedly threw a powdery substance in the direction of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck during yet another raucous meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
According to the activist group Californians for Progress, the detained women were Melina Abdullah, a leader of the Los Angeles arm of Black Lives Matter, and Sheila Hines-Brim, an aunt of Wakiesha Wilson, who died while in LAPD custody in 2016.
Reports from the scene indicate that Hines-Brim allegedly threw some of Wilson’s ashes at Beck during the meeting, although some witnesses question whether the ashes were thrown or merely placed in front of the chief. As she was walking away, Hines-Brim shouted, “That’s Wakiesha.”
The commission meeting was immediately recessed when the powder was released. The room was cleared and investigators worked to identify the substance.
No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered.
Wakiesha Wilson died while in LAPD custody in March 2016. Police said Wilson was found hanging in her jail cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center, and the coroner’s office ruled her death to be a homicide. Activists disputed the ruling, arguing that Wilson was not suicidal. They also faulted the LAPD for failing to notify Wilson’s family of her death.
The city agreed late last year to pay Wilson’s family nearly $300,000 to settle a lawsuit they filed over her death.