All posts by jasmynecannick


Black Lives Matter Los Angeles Shut it Down for ‘Black Memorial Day’ Protest

Mother of Ezell Ford Joined Black Lives Matter Black Memorial Day Protest


Tritobia Ford joined activists on Memorial Day to remember unarmed Blacks killed by the police and sheriff’s in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, CA – Tritobia Ford, 43, the mother of Ezell Ford joined Black Lives Matter Los Angeles on Mon., May 25 to remember the lives of unarmed African-Americans killed by the police and sheriffs. Ford’s son Ezell, 25, was killed on Aug. 11, 2014 in South Los Angeles after officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Area Division alleged he reached for one of the officer’s weapons.

Ford was shot by LAPD officers three times, including once in the back according to an autopsy report that came four months after he was killed. Ford was said to have been complying with officers’ demands and was on the ground when he was shot several times in the back. In the area of the gunshot wound to Ford’s back, the surrounding skin had a “muzzle imprint,” the autopsy report stated. The cause of death, described as a homicide, was listed as multiple gunshot wounds.

Black Lives Matter activists in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pasadena used the Memorial Day holiday to call attention to the numerous killings of unarmed Black people by the police and sheriffs dubbing it Black Memorial Day.

Events were held throughout Los Angeles County, including in front of the LAPD’s Newton Area Division where Tritobia Ford was met by dozens of supporters.

Rarely heard from publicly, Mrs. Ford told supporters and the media that she has not received condolences from the LAPD for killing her son and that she wants to see the two officers responsible for killing Ezell, Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, arrested and charged with murder. She challenged Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck to provide the answers that he said he would.

In addition to Newton Area Division, protests were held at the LAPD’s Pacific, Southeast and Central Divisions and at the Pasadena and Long Beach Police Departments. Protestors caravanned to Cerritos to the site of the May 7 killing of 21-year-old Nephi Arreguin where they briefly stopped traffic during a march to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in Cerritos.

Black Lives Matter activists have vowed to provide widespread disruptions of everyday life in Southern California.

Speaking to the media, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles organizer Melina Abdullah said, “Black communities will not be systematically assaulted and allow other communities—mainly affluent communities—to be quiet and tucked away. Your communities will be constantly disrupted as long as ours are targeted for assault.”


Black Officer Killed in the Line of Duty to be Remembered on 10th Anniversary

Officer Tommy Scott

Los Angeles Airport Police Officer Tommy Scott

*In recognition of Los Angeles Airport Police Officer Tommy Scott’s sacrifice and to commemorate the tenth year since his death, the Tommy Scott 1st Annual Ride & Shine Memorial Ride and Car & Truck Show show will take place on Apr. 25 and the Tommy Scott Memorial 5K & 10K LAX Run on May 16. Officer Scott was the first and to date only Airport Police Officer ever killed in the line of duty. He was killed on April 29, 2005 at the age of 35, in a carjacking incident after stopping a suspicious man near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In 2010, his killer, William Sadowski, was convicted of carjacking and first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

About the Events

The Tommy Scott 1st Annual Ride & Shine Memorial Ride and Car & Truck Show

On Sat., Apr. 25, the Los Angeles Airports Police Athletics & Activities League (LAAPAAL), Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association (LAAPOA) and the Association of Airport Employees (AAE) will host the Tommy Scott 1st Annual Ride & Shine Memorial Ride and Car & Truck Show. The ride will begin at the USS Iowa at 9 a.m. and end at Westchester Park (7000 W. Manchester Blvd.) where the inaugural Tommy Scott Memorial Car & Truck show will take place. The show will last until 3 p.m. and all rods, customs, classic and muscle cars as well as trucks are invited to participate. Advanced registration is $25 and includes a T-shirt. On site registration is $35. Proceeds will benefit the Tommy Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information and to register, please visit

The Tommy Scott Memorial 5K & 10K LAX Run

On Sat., May 16, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) will join the LAAPAAL and AAE in hosting the Tommy Scott Memorial 5K & 10K LAX Run. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Westchester/LAX Fire Station No. 5 (8900 S. Emerson Ave.) with on-site registration beginning at 6:45 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Tommy Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, please visit

For more information on these events and the LAAPOA, please visit

The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association (LAAPOA) represents the sworn police officers and firefighters of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department assigned to protect and serve Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY). For more information on LAAPOA, please visit

Follow LAAPOA on Twitter @AirportPoliceLA and on Facebook at

Jasmyne Cannick

Jasmyne Cannick: How Hillary Clinton for President Died the First Time (Listen)

Hillary Clinton

In Loving Memory of the Hillary for President Campaign:
January 20, 2007 – May 7, 2008

*I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

In preparation for the upcoming onslaught of presidential campaign announcements, I thought I’d take a moment to remind Black America of how the Hillary Clinton for President campaign died the first time around–from beginning to flatline.

Jasmyne CannickJasmyne A. Cannick is a native of Los Angeles and writes about the intersection of race, pop culture, class, and politics.  She was chosen as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and One of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Aneles Under 40. She can be found online at Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at

Then LAPD Chief William Bratton..

@Jasmyne Cannick Explains Bratton’s Long History with ‘I Can’t Breathe’

Then LAPD Chief William Bratton..

Then LAPD Chief William Bratton..

*As Angelenos (people in Los Angeles) brace themselves for results of an autopsy and investigation regarding the death of an unarmed Black man in South Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Police Department, I thought we’d take a trip back down memory lane as it relates to three little but very important words: I can’t breathe.

Long before now New York Police Commissioner William Bratton saw the video of Eric Garner’s tragic death, he’d heard “I can’t breathe.”

In my best imitation of Estelle Getty’s character Sophia Petrillo-Weinstock from the TV series “The Golden Girls,” picture it, Los Angeles. The year was 2006.

The Chief of the LAPD was William J. Bratton. The Department was still under a federal consent decree issued in 2001 in the wake of the Rampart scandal.

Bratton as you may or may not recall was selected by then Mayor James Hahn to help reform the embattled LAPD. Bratton—who headed the New York City Transit Police and the Boston Police, before being appointed New York City Police Commissioner in 1994—was seen as an outsider and just what the doctor ordered for a police department who scandals at the time were the talk of the country and the ire of Angelenos.

In mid-November of 2006 a YouTube video surfaced of a Latino man on the ground in Hollywood with a LAPD officer’s knee on his throat.

As the man struggled with officers you can hear him repeatedly say—wait for it—wait for it—“I can’t breathe.”

The man is William Cardenas and he told Fox 11 news reporter Jeff Michaels that on Aug. 11, 2006 he was punched over and over by the LAPD Officer Patrick Farrell and told to “shut the fuck up.”

The video shows Cardenas being punched in the face as many as six times by Farrell. You can also hear Cardenas telling Farrell and his partner Alexander Schlegel that he could not breathe after being sprayed with pepper spray.

 Bratton defended both the officers and the Department’s handling of the ensuing investigation in a Los Angeles Times article.

Bratton is quoted in The Times saying, “it is very graphic video but as to whether the actions of the officers were appropriate in light of what they were experiencing and the totality of the circumstances is what the investigation will determine. It is quite clear while struggling, one of the officers struck the individual in the face … but that is not life-threatening.”

According to news reports at the time, the 23-year-old Cardenas was seen by the officers drinking beer with two friends on the corner of Fountain Avenue and Gordon Street in Hollywood. Officer Schlegel testified that he recalled that Cardenas had a warrant for failing to appear on a charge of receiving stolen property. The LAPD also contended that Cardenas was a member of the Gordon Street Locos gang.

Both Farrell and Schlegel are still police officers for the LAPD today, with Farrell still working in Hollywood.

Moving right along…

Shortly after the video surfaced of Cardenas’ “I can’t breathe,” along came the 2005 video of LAPD officers on the Venice boardwalk using pepper spray on a handcuffed suspect in the back of a patrol car.

Benjamin Barker a homeless man was arrested after getting into a fight with a merchant on the boardwalk.

According to The Times, the videotape shows Barker in handcuffs as he is bent over a patrol car. As the officer pushes him into the car, Barker can be heard saying, “Why am I going to jail?”

Once Barker is in the back seat, he starts shouting: “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Don’t spray me!”

One officer is heard saying: “He knows what’s happening.”

Another officer takes a pepper-spray canister from his belt, shakes it and leans in to apply it to Barker’s face.

The officer closes the doors of the patrol car and steps back. Barker is seen holding his face up to the car window, his features contorted in pain.

Even with major discrepancies in the reporting of the incident, the police union and Bratton backed up the officers involved.

So as you can see, this isn’t Bratton’s first time with “I can’t breathe” at the hands of cops under his command. The only difference between Eric Garner’s situation in New York and Barker and Cardenas in Los Angeles, is that the latter two lived to see another day whereas Garner did not.

Jasmyne CannickOn television, radio, online and in print,  Jasmyne Cannick is a social and political commentator on race, politics, and pop culture issues.  She can be found on Twitter @Jasmyne and on Facebook at /jasmynecannick.  Her website is

protesters in la hands up

Da 5 Footaz KneHi Releases ‘Black Lives Matter’ Song After Being Arrested at L.A. Protest

Ericka Martin, better known as KneHi (blue shirt) poses with other members of the legendary West Coast female rap group Da 5 Footaz.

Ericka Martin, better known as KneHi (blue shirt) poses with members of the legendary West Coast female rap group Da 5 Footaz.

KneHi from the legendary West Coast female rap group Da 5 Footaz (“The Heist,” G Funk Music) has just released her latest song–and it’s all about the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in Los Angeles.

Ericka Martin, 37, better known as KneHi, was arrested on Wed. Nov. 25 in downtown Los Angeles during one of the LAPD’s infamous mass arrest operations of protesters protesting police brutality and killings.

Known for her work as one part of the all female rap group Da 5 Footaz, Martin used that experience to pen a song about the LAPD, police brutality, and being arrested. In the song she shouts out fellow arrestee well known political consultant and EUR columnist Jasmyne Cannick, Ezell Ford, who was shot and killed by the LAPD in August, and Mitrice Richardson who was found dead in 2010 after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested her and released her in the middle of the night with nothing.

Martin, along with at least 140 others will be going to court this week in Los Angeles.  She says that continues to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and plans to fight the misdemeanor charges.

Other L.A. rappers spotted at Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protests include the Lady of Rage herself who was seen walking with protesters near the Staples Center on Mon. Nov. 23.

Later this week, many of those arrested by the LAPD will join Martin in South Los Angeles as she shoots the music video for “Black Lives Matter.”

“Black Lives Matter” was produced by Da Bad Guy.

You can follow KneHi on Twitter @KneHi_ and on Facebook here


@Jasmyne Cannick: Putting White’s Support of Black Lives Matter to the Test


*Just because you attend a rally or protest and lend your voice to chorus of those chanting that “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean that you really mean it or that you are using your white privilege for good. Similarly, just because you’re a registered Democrat and you gave money to the President’s campaign doesn’t mean that you can’t be a racist.

I’m sure that producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal didn’t intend to be racist as they joked back and forth in emails about the kinds of movies that America’s first Black president might like.

The leaked email exchange between Rudin and Pascal involved a discussion about a fundraiser breakfast with President Obama Pascal was to attend. They assume that Obama, because he’s Black, would prefer movies featuring blacks.

She suggested Django. He suggested 12 Years a Slave. She came back with The Butler.

“Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart,” Rudin replied.

The latest batch of hacked Sony emails has brought into the spotlight once again the inherent racism that continues to exist within the Democratic Party and with white liberals, many of whom have jumped aboard the Black lives matters bandwagon.

Over the past several weeks I’ve spoken with and watched hundreds of white people march through the streets of Los Angeles holding signs and chanting the phrase “Black lives matter.” I even had one woman recently tell me how she was using her white privilege for good by being out in the streets with those decrying police brutality and the killing of unarmed Black men.

But the reality is that while it’s nice to see so many white people genuinely concerned with the plight of Black people, their white privilege could better serve the same Black people that they care about behind closed doors when they’re at work.

If Black lives really matter I need for all of the white people in the position to hire someone who is Black to do just that—hire an African-American. If more Black people are working, that means that more Black lives are being provided for financially.

And if Black lives are so important, those same white people who work at banks and approve home loans should be willing to work just a little harder to see to it that Black families trying to buy their first home aren’t denied a loan. Their counterparts who make the decisions on who to rent to and who not to rent to can help the cause by seeing to it that more Black people are approved to rent apartments even if those apartments aren’t in the ghetto.

White people show that Black lives matter by using their privilege to admit more African-Americans into their colleges and universities.

The organizations and non-profits working to better the lives of Black people and who are actually run by Black people should always be funded by the same liberal white people who are chanting today that Black lives matter.

The lives of Black people aren’t just a trend or the latest catch phrase to put on a shirt to sell and make money with.

For Black people it’s a long overdue movement lead by a statement that has meaning and purpose.

White people can best support the theory that Black lives matter by putting it to a test and by actually doing the things that demonstrate that Black people matter. Our lives matter enough to hire, cast, lend to, rent to, give to, and accept into. Not just while it’s a trending hashtag and the news media is there.

As for Rudin and Pascal’s little email exchange, maybe now Black people will begin to challenge the Party that has benefited from their blind allegiance on it’s own issues with race. Writing a check to the president’s campaign coffers doesn’t absolve you from being a racist.

Jasmyne A. CannickSelected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and one of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40, on radio, television, and in print, Jasmyne Cannick is a politics, race, and pop culture social commentator who has cultivated a national following.  She can be reached at and on Twitter @Jasmyne.