The aunt of a woman who died while in police custody was arrested and charged for throwing what she says were ashes of her dead niece at the Los Angeles police chief.
Sheila Brim, whose niece Wakiesha Wilson died in a police cell, threw the powdery substance at Chief Charlie Beck during a meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, reported ABC News.
Brim shouted, “That’s Wakiesha! She’s gonna stay with you!” while throwing the ashes.
The substance has not been officially identified, but a hazmat team said it was non-hazardous.
Police allege that Wilson committed suicide in her cell in 2016, but her family believe she died after being beaten by an officer.
Wilson’s death was highly controversial, causing outrage and fuel for the Black Lives Matter movement.
At the meeting, Melina Abdullah, one of the co-founders of BLM LA, allegedly got into a physical altercation with a cop and was also arrested.
Both woman were charged with battery against a police officer.
Abdullah said she was only going toward Brim to make sure she was not being abused by police. What police call battery is when she “touched the police officer’s arm” during the commotion.
The police chief says he believes people will now be afraid to go to the meetings because of the disrespect shown in the incident. He remained silent on the death that led to the incident.
“Today’s assault was not only disrespectful to the Office of the Chief of Police, but more importantly to a process of community engagement that has been recognized across the nation,” Beck said. adding that her actions “created chaos and fear for any Angelenos who wanted to voice their opinion about policing in our city.”
Abdullah believes the chief’s statement is ridiculous and thinks the victim’s families should be the focus.
“The idea that we are told we need to not be emotional and be contained, that’s inhumane, “ Abdullah said.