Two Black Lives Matter protesters won’t legally be required to stay away from the Los Angeles police chief and mayor.
A judge denied a request by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to restrict the two Black Lives Matter protesters from going near Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti, after the protesters tried to crash a meeting earlier this week.
Spokesman Rob Wilcox confirmed that the office requested a stay away order to prevent Evan Bunch, 28, and Luz Maria Flores, 23, from being near Beck and Garcetti.
The office filed charges against Bunch, alleging battery of a police officer resulting in injury, battery of a police officer, resisting arrest, and preventing public officials from doing their job, while Flores was charged with resisting arrest and misdemeanor battery of officers, Wilcox said.
The city has “no good cause,” and “should not ask for protective order,” said Bunch and Flores’ attorney Nana Gyamfi, who said most of the actual charges were made in relation to the police officers, and not with Garcetti or Beck.
Only one charge refers to Garcetti and Beck and alleges that Bunch was preventing public officials from doing their job in a public place, which Gyamfi said is a charge that is rarely made and a tactic to support the stay away order request.
Gyamfi added the charges filed by the City Attorney’s Office are “based on spite and retaliation.”
“When you file criminal charges, they have to be based upon a violation of the law, and cannot be based on the fact that you don’t want to be bothered by people,” Gyamfi said. “That is an abuse of the process.”
Gyami said an injury suffered by a Los Angeles police officer that was shown in court was an abrasion the size of a nickel. She would not discuss details about what occurred in the scuffle between her clients and the police.
Los Angeles police said the incident occurred about 5 p.m. Wednesday at Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, 830 W. 70th St., where Beck and Garcetti were meeting privately with backers of the city’s Summer Night Lights youth program on its opening night.
Bunch allegedly injured a police officer during the scuffle, and Flores allegedly tried to pull Bunch free from the custody of police, while trying to enter and disrupt the meeting, police said.
Jasmyne Cannick of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles described Bunch and Flores as “Black Lives Matter Los Angeles protesters (who) were arrested while trying to protest Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck at the kickoff of the Summer Night Lights Program.”
Black Lives Matter activists have told City News Service they are trying to gain a meeting with Garcetti, and want Beck and two officers who fatally shot Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man last year, to be fired.
— City News Service