Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt M. Johnson claims a civil rights activist has threatened him and his family.
The president of the Los Angeles Police Commission filed a request for a temporary restraining order against a prominent member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Matt M. Johnson, who has been president of the police commission since September 2015, said that he feared for his life and the safety of his family, and he alleges a pattern of stalking and violent threats from Trevor Gerard, according to Monique Judge of The Root.
Johnson alleges in his complaint that Gerard stalked him at his home and at the private law office where he works, angrily demanding to speak with him. LA Weekly reports that Johnson also alleges that Gerard mouthed violent threats to him from the audience at board meetings and made threatening statements, including a “gratuitous reference” to Johnson’s children.
Gerard, 35, says that Johnson’s politically motivated tactics distort the truth. He said the police-commission president deliberately took his statements and actions out of context in retaliation for Black Lives Matter L.A.’s confrontational style of activism.
“I never told him that he should be afraid of me,” Gerard told LA Weekly. “I never told him to meet me outside. I never threatened him with any kind of physical violence.”
Judge says the city attorney’s office filed the restraining order on Johnson’s behalf Dec. 19, one day after a group of activists, including members of Black Lives Matter L.A., started a demonstration outside Johnson’s private residence in Sherman Oaks, and two days after activists gained entry to the Century City law firm where Johnson is managing partner.
Johnson’s complaint does not mention the fact the Gerard was part of a group of protesters in both instances outside Johnson’s home and law office.
Gerard was arrested outside Johnson’s home and briefly held in custody, and he told LA Weekly that although the Los Angeles Police Department told him that the investigation for criminal trespass is still pending, no charges have been filed, reports Judge.
The restraining order will not allow Gerard to take part in protests outside the police commissioner’s home or place of work.
Johnson’s request for a restraining order calls for Gerard to stay at least 100 yards away from Johnson, his wife and children, his home and the law firm where he works. It also would require Gerard to stay at least 5 yards away from Johnson during public meetings, but he may still address the Board of Police Commissioners during public comment time.
Gerard told LA Weekly that he plans to contest the restraining order at a court hearing Jan. 10.
What are your thoughts? Is this another case of police trying to discredit a civil rights activist and the movement? Or is it a genuine case of threatening someone and his family? Please leave your comments below.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)