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Green Party’s Jill Stein throws support behind Black Lives Matter


Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein visited the Black Lives Matter encampment outside Los Angeles City Hall Tuesday where she agreed with the group’s demand that Mayor Eric Garcetti fire Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Stein pointed to the firing of police chiefs in other cities and said she came to Los Angeles City Hall to “support the community that’s demanding justice by asking the police chief to step down.”

“We need him to be replaced by someone who doesn’t simply dismiss death after death as being within police policy and refusing to even file charges,” Stein said.

Beck in January recommended that District Attorney Jackie Lacey file criminal charges against a police officer who killed a homeless man in Venice, but that was his first time doing so for a fatal on-duty police shooting.

Stein’s appeal on behalf of Black Lives Matter is not likely to sway Garcetti, who last month expressed strong support for Beck.

Under the city charter, the fate of the LAPD’s chief rests with the police commission, whose members are appointed by the mayor. The commission approved Beck’s request for a second, and final, five-year term in 2014.

Stein met with several Black Lives Matter members, including organizer Melina Abdullah, and spoke to Lisa Simpson, who has been seeking more information on LAPD officers’ fatal shooting of her 18-year-old son, Richard Risher, in Watts last month.

Stein also joined Black Lives Matter members in going to Garcetti’s office to demand a meeting with the mayor. They were met by Garcetti’s communications director Naomi Seligman and chief of staff Ana Guerrero, who informed them the mayor was away from the office attending public events, although Garcetti’s official schedule that day did not list any public events.

Black Lives Matter members have rejected Garcetti’s offer to meet with a small delegation from their group, and have instead demanded that Garcetti come downstairs to meet with all of their members. The sit-in began 51 days ago, following a Police Commission ruling that last year’s fatal shooting of 30-year-old Redel Jones was within LAPD policy.

Members of the national Black Lives Matter organization issued a statement this month saying the group did not plan to endorse a presidential candidate nor are they affiliated with any political party. Abdullah held to that stance, saying it is not offering Stein or any other candidate their endorsement.