Black Live Matter-L.A. co-founder Melina Abdullah was removed from the audience of Sunday’s L.A. mayoral debate at Cal State L.A (CSULA).
Abdullah is a professor at CSULA and claims the school called the police on her as she was watching the mayoral candidates answer questions on-stage.
“Today I attempted to watch the mayoral debate held on the campus where I’ve taught for 20 years,” Abdullah said on Twitter. “As I waited for it to start, the white [Pat Brown Institute] director called the police on me. He and each of the candidates watched as I was brutally removed.”
From a distance, video footage of what appeared to be the incident was posted online, with Abdullah heard yelling, “They are hurting me.”
As the incident occurred, Abdullah yelled out to candidates Karen Bass and Kevin DeLeon who she later said she was very close with for more than 20 years.
Today I attempted to watch the mayoral debate held on the campus where I’ve taught for 20 years. As I waited for it to start, the white @PBI director called the police on me. He and each of the candidates watched as I was brutally removed. @CalStateLA
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) May 2, 2022
Additional video from outside the auditorium further showed Abdullah being carried out, being held by both her arms while protesters asked the police officers to let go of her.
LOOK AT COPS DRAGGING @DocMellyMel OUT OF THE MAYORAL DEBATE.
This is the city of Los Angeles version of “public safety.” There was no disruption and four cops picked up Melina and pulled her out. All of this for a mayoral debate.
— People’s City Council – Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) May 2, 2022
Rep. Bass said she “had no idea who was being removed,” in a statement to City News Service.
BLMLA said they believe Abdullah was removed “for no apparent reason…other than she’s Black,” and called out the mayoral candidates for not attempting to de-escalate the situation.
L.A. Weekly has reached out to CSULA for a statement on the incident with no response as of this writing.