A Black Lives Matter activist was the target of ‘swatting’ for a third time after a 911 caller on Wednesday evening claimed they had kidnapped her.
Melina Abdullah, who is suing the Los Angeles Police Department over another ‘swatting’ incident in August 2020 during which heavily armed officers surrounded her home, was not there when the latest incident occurred.
Capt. Stacy Spell, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, said the department received a 911 call about 5:45 pm from a person who falsely claimed he had kidnapped Abdullah at gunpoint.
A neighbor who was home noticed the police and Facetimed Abdullah, who saw a fleet of police cars and officers outside with guns drawn, according to KTLA.
Due to the ‘serious nature’ of the caller’s threats to ‘do harm’ to Abdullah, the department dispatched six police units and a supervisor to the scene, all of whom left ‘shortly after it was determined that no one’s safety was in danger,’ Spell said.
Melina Abdullah, pictured, took to Instagram on Wednesday to denounce the LAPD after the third ‘swatting’ incident, the second of which to occur within the last week
The BLM activist posted a statement last week to address last Thursday’s ‘swatting’ incident, which occurred the day after she had announced her lawsuit against the LAPD
On the morning of Sept. 23, she was targeted with another false 911 call. An unknown caller claiming to be Abdullah’s 11-year-old son (who was in school at the time) falsely claimed that she had overdosed on pills and required medical assistance, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Officers who arrived at Abdullah’s home were quickly ‘able to determine that she was not in any danger’.
Abdullah posted a statement regarding the Sept. 23 ‘swatting’ incident on her Instagram account, hinting at a connection between the recent ‘swatting’ events and her lawsuit against the police department, which she publicly announced the dday before the incident.
‘While the LAPD response was far more restrained than last year’s, and not blatantly violent, it triggered traumas from the previous incident, as I believe was their intent’ she wrote.
‘I find it incredulous that such an incident would occur less than 24 hours after my attorneys and I announced a lawsuit against the LAPD for their extremely violent response and infliction of harm against me in August 2020.’
‘The timing is not coincidental,’ she told the Times.
In the incident from last year, a prankster claimed he was going to kill hostages held inside Abdullah’s home, causing a response from the police department. In that case, the caller used ‘anonymizing technologies’ to obscure their identity and location, according to the LA Times.
‘Someone, or some force, I suspect they are police, trying to intimidate me out of work, trying to intimidate me out of the movement. I will never give up,’ she said during an Instagram live video posted after Wednesday night’s incident.
No arrests have been made in any of the three ‘swatting’ incidents.
‘Swatting’ is ‘making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring a large number of armed officers to a particular address,’ according to Oxford Languages.
Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM’s LA chapter and a supporter of the ‘defund the police’ movement, claims the overwhelming police responses were done in retaliation for her activism, and put her and her family at risk.
‘This was a clear case of LAPD … attempting to terrorize us,’ Abdullah told the Los Angeles Times.
‘They made no attempt to keep me or my children safe, and this was actually an infliction of harm.’
Melina Abdullah (seen above in Los Angeles in June 2020), a co-founder of Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter, is suing the Los Angeles Police Department
On August 19, 2020, the LAPD received a 911 call from someone who claimed he had taken people hostage in Abdullah’s home in the Crenshaw section of the city
Abdullah livestreamed the incident on her Instagram account (above)
The Crenshaw home that was ‘swatted’ is said to be worth between $1.3million and $1.6million, according to realtor web sites
Abdullah’s name is also on the deed of another home in the Leimart Park section of Los Angeles that was purchased in 2003. Realtor sites estimate that the home is worth more than $900,000
Abdullah is a divorced mother of three children. According to property records, she owns three homes – two in Los Angeles and one in Baltimore; their total value exceeds $2.2million.
The Crenshaw home that was ‘swatted’ is said to be worth between $1.3million and $1.6million, according to realtor web sites.
Records indicate that Abdullah and her then-husband, former Hollywood producer Phaylen Abdullah, paid $486,949 for the home back in 2011. The couple obtained a $350,000 mortgage.
Records indicate that Abdullah and her then-husband, former Hollywood producer Phaylen Abdullah, paid $486,949 for the Crenshaw home back in 2011. The couple obtained a $350,000 mortgage
Abdullah’s name is also on the deed of another home in the Leimart Park section of Los Angeles that was purchased in 2003. Realtor sites estimate that the home is worth more than $900,000.
According to property records, Abdullah and her then-husband obtained a $120,000 loan to buy the home.
In the case of Abdullah’s lawsuit, the LAPD received a 911 call on August 19, 2020, from someone who claimed he had taken people hostage in her home in the Crenshaw section of the city.
The caller told police he wanted to ‘send a message’ that ‘BLM is a bunch of retards.’
News of the lawsuit was reported by the Los Angeles Times. The LAPD declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Abdullah livestreamed the incident on her Instagram account.
‘I don’t know why they are here,’ she is heard saying as heavily armed police are seen outside her home.
‘They have guns pointed at my house. There’s a helicopter overhead.
‘Nobody’s knocked at the door, but apparently they’ve made announcements for people to come out with our hands up.
‘My children are in the house. My children are in the house. I don’t know what this is.’
‘I don’t know why they are here,’ she is heard saying as heavily armed police are seen outside her home
Abdullah then stepped outside of the home. An officer then asked her what her address was, and she responded
As Abdullah approached a group of officers, another asked her if she was in danger. She told them she was not
Abdullah then stepped outside of the home. An officer asked her what her address was, and she responded.
‘Are you looking for me?’ Abdullah asked. The officer then instructs her to walk over to him, telling her: ‘You’re not in trouble.’
As Abdullah approached a group of officers, another asked her if she was in danger. She told them she was not.
‘OK. We got a call to this location that there is a male in there holding you guys hostage, and he wants a million dollars or he’s going to kill you within an hour,’ the officer said.
‘Oh my…no,’ Abdullah replied.
No one was injured.
At the time of the incident, the nation was in the midst of widespread demonstrations, rioting, and unrest as protesters demanded changes to policing methods in minority communities.
In court papers filed with California Superior Court, Abdullah said she feared LAPD SWAT officers would shoot into her home and wound her children.
Abdullah also said that she feared she would be shot if she followed officers’ commands and stepped outside.
Abdullah claims the LAPD staged the incident as ‘retaliation’ for her protesting and activism
Abdullah is a supporter of the ‘defund the police’ movement that erupted in the wake of the police-involved killing of George Floyd last year. A protest is seen above in LA on June 1, 2020
She accuses the LAPD of failing to contact her beforehand even though they had her contact information.
Abdullah claims the LAPD staged the incident as ‘retaliation’ for her protesting and activism. She alleges that police did not actually believe that there was a hostage situation in her home.
To bolster her claims, Abdullah said police allowed her security guard, whom the officer did not know, to pass through a perimeter and enter the home as they staged around it.
Two neighbors of Abdullah’s were also permitted to go inside to check on her and walk to her side as she stepped outside to speak to officers, according to the lawsuit.
She said the response was ‘an attempt to put down protest, to target me as someone who’s been very visible and vocal in protesting LAPD.’
Abdullah’s attorney, Erin Darlin, told the Times there was ‘ample evidence’ the LAPD ‘knew or should have known that the call was a hoax.’
Darlin also said the LAPD should have known that Abdullah and other high-profile members of BLM would be targets of ‘swatting’ incidents.
‘Especially for someone familiar with police abuse, she’s thinking in that moment — a moment of terror — that, “Oh my god, they want to kill me and this is their excuse”,’ Darling said.