Lawsuit vs Melina Abdullah, individually, Black Lives Matter Foundation, aka BLM
The protesters were honoring Melina Abdullah, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter LA chapter, who led call & response chants of “Disrupt White Capitalism.” a concept she believes is the root cause of police violence in America
I am an individual, resident & business owner of California's 28th congressional district. My business CRUVOIR (2015-2020) a California corporation conducting business as a high-end designer clothing store on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California.
I owned the store for five years prior to the looting that occurred on May 30th, 2020 when the Mayor of California ordered the LAPD a stand down mandate during the BLM riots. Scores of opportunists & masked armed looters took advantage, damaging commercial & personal property & engaging in open theft, vandalism, & violent destruction of my property. The total damages were over 1.5 million dollars of designer clothing, sneakers, jewelry, & rare vintage pieces.
The protesters were honoring Melina Abdullah, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter LA chapter, who led call & response chants of “Disrupt White Capitalism.”
Before the event ended, she shouted into a megaphone: ‘fuck the police! fuck white capitalism! fuck the grove! fuck 3rd & fairfax! fuck beverly hills!’ Melina Abdullah was deliberately stoking a very large crowd into destructive action. By nightfall, stores at every shopping district she mentioned was been vandalized & looted, & several LAPD cruisers in the Fairfax District were set on fire. She knew exactly what she was doing. Can Melina Abdullah, individually, Black Lives Matter Foundation, aka BLM be held responsible? The lead organizer of the BLM LA chapter participated & acted with or in furtherance of the masked armed looters, damaging commercial & personal property & engaging in open theft, vandalism, & violent destruction of my property on the counts of Property Damage, Vandalism & Loss of Business Income.
Surveillance footage is published on our YouTube channel of the looting that on occurred during the BLM riots on May 30, 2020:
My neighbors, either escaped or didn't take action. One of my neighbors showed some courage to defend my business amidst the chaos while hoards of people were running out of my store with handfuls of merchandise. He was knocked unconscious with a skateboard & suffered trauma to the back of his head.
Unfortunately due to the stay-at-home mandate, I wasn't able to protect my property until it was too late. I called the police & they told me to stay home. Special scorn should be given to LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Mayor Garcetti for serving up the entire heart of the city to thieves and arsonists. By the time I got there, I witnessed the break-ins around me that were bonkers in their scale & frequency that went on into late hours of the night, by the same criminals that looted my store and took everything—pure crime. Standing in front of my store, which was already mostly destroyed & robbed, I filmed Police driving by a live crime scene as the jewelry store across the street was broken into (see Cruvoir youtube). Police Chief Michael Moore kept hundreds of police in clustered units, doing nothing under Mayor Garcetti's 'stand-down order'— Cops were antagonizing protestors, while businesses in the vicinity were looted and burned two blocks away. I witnessed police squad vehicles driving past live crime scenes, ignoring looting. Why didn't the police go after the looters and leave the protests? Both sides, every time. The police aren't there for you. 'Protect and serve' is a lie.
How it went down: A city permit was given to Black Lives Matter to hold an event at Pan Pacific Park on May 30th in the afternoon—a small park, not an event park—it looks crowded with 200 people in it. Whoever gave the permit should be fired—this was the first mistake that led to violence, theft, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage for many miles. The protesters were honoring Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter’s L.A. chapter, who is also a college professor, who went on to drop a string of expletives that foreshadowed what was to come after the rally would end.
By nightfall, stores at every shopping district Abdullah mentioned had been vandalized and looted. Abdullah’s 16-year-old daughter, Thandiwe, also addressed rallygoers. She co-founded the Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard and has been speaking at local protests for several years. In 2018, she was honored by Time Magazine as one of the most influential teens in the country. “I know you want to cry, I know you want to tear some shit up,” Thandiwe said. “If you want to set some corporations on fire, you know what? I don’t care about Target burning. I don’t care that capitalism burns. I don’t care that white people in their f***ing office buildings are upset. I don’t care that you can’t go nowhere because you’re stuck in f***ing traffic. I don’t care that you can’t get to your job or your doctor’s appointment or to wherever the f*** you want to go.”
At Pan Pacific Park, Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter's LA chapter, led call and response chants of "disrupt white capitalism." Before the event ended, Abdullah shouted into a megaphone: "Fuck thew police! Fuck white capitalism! Fuck The Grove! Fuck 3rd and Fairfax! Fuck Beverly Hills! (Daily Wire)
The following interview has been abbreviated and edited for clarity.
Warren Olney: Talk about the looting and violence that took place at the protests in LA over the weekend.
Melina Abdullah: “We were very deliberate in deciding to disrupt spaces of white affluence. We want to make sure that it's not just black people who are suffering at the hands of white supremacy, that if we can bring a little bit of the pain that we feel to white communities, then maybe they'll have a vested interest in ... & disrupting these systems that kill our people. They can't simply turn their heads & retreat from what we're experiencing. I think it's a huge mistake for people to be equating what happens to property with what happens to the lives of black people. We need to shift that. We also need to remember that in these demonstrations, the first acts of violence are the police assaulting protesters. & it's important that the media examines that.”
Melina Abdullah was deliberately stoking a very large crowd into destructive action in the middle of the day as the event was ending. She knew exactly what she was doing. Organizers ended the rally while it was still peaceful, acknowledging the situation could potentially become 'unsafe' for some people in attendance. A Black Lives Matter leader said over the bullhorn. "The action is officially closed," he announced. "Whatever y'all do from here on out ain't my business." Tensions began to rise after the protesters began moving toward Beverly Hills & other areas. They were met by LAPD, which issued an 'unlawful assembly' order & instructed participants & onlookers to leave. The LA Times described the scene that developed as 'a tense standoff' with police shooting rubber bullets & striking demonstrators with batons. (CBS2)
At this point, putting too many people in too small an area, firing them up with angry rhetoric, then telling them to leave the park in the middle of the day left the police in an untenable position. Should they direct the large crowd one way or another? This crowd was amped. A total mess ensued. Many were driven North, to Melrose Avenue, only five blocks away, where the police would not go for four hours. Who's fault? The next mistake was LAPD's strategy of handling what was inevitable. There would be parts of this crowd spreading out to tag, rob, & burn for many square miles—after everything was looted, someone would start a fire inside.
One of my neighbors roamed a mile of Melrose with her camera. Over four hours, she saw zero police crackdown —one big candy store! The Shoe Palace was looted for a full hour before someone started fires inside. Urban Outfitters was continuously looted for two hours before fires were started inside. My Store, Cruvoir at 8211 Melrose Avenue, was looted for hours until I got there, & nearly everything was gone & destroyed.
The Los Angeles Police Department deliberately abandoned Melrose & other major streets, deciding not to 'risk' department 'lives' & 'reputations' for property damage—better to let the looters loot & burn? All LAPD had to do was criss-cross & block critical streets with squad cars & bullhorns. It would have scattered the crowd. Wherever there were broken windows, put a car in front of it with police standing guard. It would have stopped all the fires & continuous looting that went on for hours.
Law enforcement officials, current & retired, criticized the LAPD response, saying it was riddled with flaws—from acquiescing to protesters gathering in huge numbers in a business district like Fairfax, to delaying two moves that would have increased manpower sooner— mobilizing the entire police force into action by canceling off-days & vacations, & calling in the National Guard—as they were given warning well-ahead of time.
Charles Sid Heal, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff's commander, said the LAPD decision to allow protesters access to an area like the Grove & Farmers Market was a miscalculation. Keeping crowds away from vulnerable areas is a vital part of crowd control, he said. "That means place sentries where you don't want them to go in advance." (LA Times)
Can I be subverted to ‘free speech’? No. but this is hardly to say that my property is not vulnerable. My business Cruvoir was looted during the BLM riots in may 2020 for a loss of $1.5 million dollars. None of my property was covered by insurance, so I've shuttered my doors & dissolved my company.
My property was accessible, cases were ripped, displays pulled down, all in honor of a very deliberate call & response to loot & destroy 'white spaces of affluence', but the problem cannot be reduced to such politics alone.