September 18, 2019 marked the hundredth consecutive week of the “Jackie Lacey Must Go” action, and it was a true celebration. Outside the Hall of (In)justice, a large group converged to rejoice in the occasion, and also to voice their strident opposition to LA Country District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s refusal to prosecute killer cops and sheriffs.
Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin were murdered by Inglewood PD in February 2016. Thanks to the efforts of the two families and BLM-LA, the city fired five of its officers, but Kisha’s twin sister Trisha insisted that this wasn’t enough: these killer cops could get jobs in other police departments and be back on the streets in no time. And so a petition was started, calling on DA Lacey to prosecute these five officers once and for all. Over 10,000 people signed the petition, and in September 2017, Trisha Michael and a group of BLM-LA members attempted to deliver it in person to DA Lacey. They were physically forced out of the building, with the doors slammed and locked in their faces. And so the #JackieLaceyMustGo demonstration began.
The fact that this action has been occurring for a consecutive hundred weeks is a testament to the community’s resilience, and also to the power of teamwork. Under the group-centered leadership of BLM-LA, the protest has flourished with the participation of March & Rally LA, AIM SoCal, Centro CSO, Ground Game LA, and WP4BL, DSA-LA to name just some of the organizations who’ve lent their support. We’re fighting together.
A large crowd gathered at this hundredth action to hear the words of the family members of people whose lives have been stolen by law enforcement. The families spoke about their lost loved ones. We shouted the names of Eric Rivera, Grechario Mack, Jesse Romero, John Horton, Lee Jefferson, Ryan Twyman, and too many more. There was chanting, drumming, poetry, and food. There were performances from Aja Monet, BLMLA members Yazmin Monet Watkins and Tanissia Sprull as well as the musicians Maya Jupiter and Aloe Blacc. “The answer is love,” Blacc sang again and again, and the crowd repeated it back to him. And although the circumstances that occasioned this gathering are unspeakably awful, a powerful sense of love and community filled the air. We know that when we fight, we win. And though the fight continues, one hundred weeks is a victory that demands a celebration.
This article is written by White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL). WP4BL is a white anti-racist collective and activist project of the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE-LA) and operates within a national network of white anti-racists called Showing Up for Racial Justice. WP4BL is rooted in acting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles. Visit www.awarela.org and follow us @wp4bl