The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Legal Lynching in California

Jun 6, 2016

Jasmine Richards has been convicted of “felony attempted lynching” and faces prison time between six months and four years.

Richards was part of a group of Black Lives Matter activists who intervened to stop Pasadena police from roughing up a young woman accused of not paying for her meal at a restaurant in August 2015.

The bitter irony of this “criminal” case against Richards is that she is being sent to prison under a law that was originally written against racist mobs grabbing a black person away from the police in order to lynch him or her. What Richards and the other protesters did that day matches none of the requirements of this law: there was no riot by a mob; and the purpose of the protesters was obviously not to lynch the detainee.

Clearly, the felony charge was brought against Richards not because of anything she did on that day–and the police themselves did not arrest her at the time. Richards was targeted by authorities because she had been speaking out against police brutality–in particular, against the killing of Kendrec McDade, an unarmed 19-year-old black man who was shot by two Pasadena cops while running away from them in 2012.

There is a lynching–a legal lynching: exactly what this racist, unjust “justice system” is trying to do to Jasmine Richards.