A judge this week denied a request by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office for a protective order that would have prohibited two activists from coming within 50 feet of Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. Activists from Black Lives Matter still face misdemeanor charges related to an altercation with police last week at a city recreation center in South Los Angeles.
Garcetti and Beck were meeting at the Mount Carmel Recreation Center with representatives of the Summer Night Lights youth program, when Evan Bunch, 28, entered the room uninvited. Security tried to remove Bunch from the meeting but he resisted and a brief struggle ensued. Shortly afterward, Luz Maria Flores, 23, tried to pull Bunch away from police and she was arrested on “suspicion of lynching” which means she was attempting to extricate someone from police custody.
Bunch was charged with trespassing, battery on a police officer and three counts of resisting arrest as well as causing an injury to an officer. Flores received additional charges of resisting arrest (three counts) and battery on a police officer. Both have pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance.
“I wish you had a picture of what this great ‘injury’ is,” said their attorney, Nana Gyamfi. “It is not an injury at all. It’s what people call a ‘boo boo.’ Like a scrape … between the man’s shoulder and elbow, probably the size of a dime.”
Gyamfi said the activists from Black Lives Matter have for months requested a meeting with Garcetti but to no avail. She said when they attempt to speak with Garcetti or his aides, police reportedly block their access and request that they leave. “If they don’t, they risk arrest,” Gyamfi said.
Black Lives Matter is also requesting the resignation of Beck and the prosecution of officers involved in the shooting death of South L.A. resident Ezell Ford. Although Beck said the officers acted within department policy in the fatal shooting of Ford, the Police Commission determined that one officer was wrong in the use of deadly force. A second officer was cleared in the shooting.