The Los Angeles branch of Black Lives Matter will stand by Jussie Smollett.
Melina Abdullah, the founder of the Black Lives Matter LA organization, stated on their website that they are sticking beside him after he was found guilty of four felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to the police with false police reports.
“So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community. It’s not about a trial or a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade, it’s about how we treat our community when corrupt systems are working to devalue their lives,” Abdullah said in a statement on the website for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
Abdullah also praised Smollett for how he handled himself during the trial, saying that he “has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.”
Abdullah doesn’t believe the verdict is justifiable, even after Smollett was convicted of lying about a hate crime against himself.
“In an abolitionist society, this trial would not be taking place, and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth. Instead, we find ourselves once again being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department who has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives.”
Abdullah, who is a police abolitionist and former California State University professor, said that the Chicago Police Department is ‘notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality,’ adding that ‘Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.’
Three years in prison is what Smollett is facing right now, but he is likely to be sentenced to probation.