On Tuesday, Black Lives Matter activist Greg Akili filed a $4 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the City of Los Angeles, claiming he was wrongfully arrested during a police commission meeting in February 2016.
Akili, 68, is reportedly suing for damages, attorney’s fees and individual damages from those involved.
The activist was asked to leave the meeting after he, and several other Black Lives Matter activists, kept shouting at and disrupting commission President Matt Johnson and the LAPD. Video of the exchange shows Akili constantly shouting “give me a warning!” at Johnson, who warned him at least thrice that he had to stop his disruption. At one point during the exchange, Akili shouted, “You need to give all of us warnings!” signaling to about six other activists with him.
After Akili refused to stop, police removed him from the meeting as he shouted “I need a warning! I need a warning!” over and over again.
According to Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), the officers arrested him, not for disrupting the meeting but for allegedly grabbing a female officer. He was later charged by the city attorney with misdemeanor battery and he refused a plea deal, which took the case to trial. He was reportedly convicted of resisting arrest, but the court could not reach a decision on wether to charge him with battery.
“I wasn’t arrested for anything but upsetting and disrupting the meeting,” Akili told SCPR outside police headquarters this past Tuesday. “And there is no law against that.”
The city attorney is reportedly reviewing Akili’s lawsuit.
A Go Fund Me campaign was set up for Akili last year to help pay for his bail. He was able to raise $2,550, surpassing his $2,000 goal.
SCPR reported that Akili remains a regular at police commission meetings and notes that he was also asked to leave this past Tuesday’s session after shouting that the LAPD “is the most murderous police force in the country.”
He also reportedly has earned a reputation for being the “best dressed activist.”