Black Lives Matter Activist Loses Lawsuit Against LAPD Over ‘Swatting’ Incident Response

Melina Abdullah, a leading Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of BLM-LA, lost her lawsuit on Thursday against the Los Angeles Police Department regarding their response to hoax “swatting” calls that resulted in an armed police presence at her home.

Abdullah, who is also a professor at Cal State LA, filed the lawsuit following two incidents in 2020 and 2021, where false emergency calls brought armed SWAT officers to her residence.

“Swatting” involves making a false report to emergency services to provoke a large police response to a specific location.

The LAPD reported that three teenagers, motivated by racial hatred, were responsible for the swatting calls that led officers to Abdullah’s home.

These calls falsely reported emergencies, resulting in SWAT officers surrounding her house and demanding she come outside via loudspeaker.

Abdullah claimed that the LAPD’s actions during the August 12, 2020 incident instilled significant fear in her and her three children.

However, the jury concluded that the LAPD and the city were not liable for the incident, as announced by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

“We lost,” BLM-LA posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The judge and the jury — which had no Black people — voted against us and for police violence. We will keep fighting.”

Attempts to reach Abdullah for comment were not immediately successful. Her attorney, Erin Darling, indicated that a statement would be released later.

During the trial, LAPD Sergeant James Mankey, a defendant in the case, testified that authorities had received a call about a hostage situation at Abdullah’s home.

Despite being “70%” certain it was a hoax, Mankey instructed officers to approach the property in tactical gear, stating he didn’t want to risk not responding if the 911 call had been genuine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Abdullah’s attorneys argued that the police targeted her because of her activism.

LAPD investigators revealed in 2021 that the teenagers, aged 13 to 16, connected via the Discord chat platform and were implicated in over 30 bomb threats and swatting incidents targeting video gamers, activists, schools, airports, places of worship, entertainment venues, and memorial parks.