Jasmine Abdullah Richards

Readers will no doubt have heard about this case already, as we’re late posting it. Jasmine Richards is a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement. Black people are murdered by the police with alarming regularity (along with First Nations, Hispanic, and other minority people). Typically, no-one is ever held to account. The Black Lives Matter movement seeks justice and an end to the killings.

Richards was convicted of a crime known up until last year as ‘lynching’ (oh, the irony), which consists in ‘taking by means of a riot any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer’. The ‘official’ version of the story is that Richards prevented the police from arresting a woman who was trying to leave a restaurant without paying. Richards has said that she saw the police abusing the woman and went to her aid. (Given the way police have been known to deal with black women on traffic stops, I’m afraid I know who I think is more credible.) Critics suggest that the police are going after Black Lives Matter activists. I can’t prove this is true, of course, but I think it would be utterly unsurprising if (when) it turns out to be the case.

You can read more about Jasmine Richards’ case here.

(EDITED FOR ACCURACY: I originally put up the meme that has been circulating, comparing Richards’ sentence with Brock Turner’s. As a couple of readers have pointed out – the meme is inaccurate so I’ve removed it. Sorry folks – I should have checked carefully first.]