BLM co-founder loses ‘swatting’ lawsuit against LAPD

Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah lost a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday, with a jury finding that police acted appropriately in a call to her residence, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Abdullah had sued the LAPD in 2020 after officers responded to her home in an alleged “swatting” incident. Swatting is the practice of calling in fake police emergencies to a person’s residence, sometimes resulting in violence.

Abdullah argued that police had known the swatting call was a hoax, but responded to her home anyway in an attempt to intimidate her due to her anti-police advocacy.

Police argued they acted appropriately, saying a caller had claimed he had taken three hostages inside Abdullah’s home. He threatened to kill the imagined hostages if he did not receive a payment of $1 million.


Abdullah livestreamed from her phone during the police interaction, and she could be heard asking officers, “Do you know who I am?” She also asked her viewers on social media to contact two members of the LA city council, according to the Times. 

Abdullah said the Thursday ruling against her was “dispiriting and disappointing and not surprising,” arguing it was the result of “an unjust system,” the Times reported. She plans to appeal the ruling.

Abdullah last made headlines when she was selected as Cornel West’s running mate in the 2024 presidential election. She accepted West’s offer in early April.


West, running as an independent, said he “wanted somebody whose heart, mind, and soul is committed to the empowerment of poor and working peoples of all colors,” adding that “Melina has a history of longevity of putting her heart, mind and soul in the struggle.”

West commented on Abdullah’s court defeat on social media last week.

“I stand in deep solidarity with my dear sister, comrade and running mate, Dr. Melina Abdullah! I believe this verdict is a major miscarriage of justice! We shall continue to fight for Truth Justice and Love!” he wrote.

Abdullah also raised eyebrows in February when she claimed on social media that being a fan of Taylor Swift feels “slightly racist.”

When one user asked her to elaborate on her opinion she replied: “I said FEEL, not think. Kind of like that feeling I get when there are too many American flags.” On the same post, someone commented that “Literally everything is racist.” Abdullah responded “Indeed!”

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