20-year old Maile Hampton of Sacramento, California is scheduled to appear in court this week to fight the absurd charge of lynching. Hampton is an activist who was arrested for “lynching” in January, after she tried to pull a protestor away from a police officer during a rally.
Hampton’s arrest comes under an archaic 1933 California law which was created to prevent people from forcibly taking people from police custody. But nowadays it seems to be used unfairly against protestors.
Sections 405a and 405b of California’s penal code state, “The taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer is a lynching,” and, “Every person who participates in any lynching is punishable by imprisonment . . . for two, three or four years.”
Hampton’s family not only feel that the law is unfair, but they also feel she was being targeted for her role in the #blacklivesmatter movement.
“It’s clear [law enforcement] are trying to target two of the most powerful Answer activists,” she said, referring to the Act Now To Stop War and Racism Coalition.
“Based on how law enforcement has interacted with us and tried to get information, we know that they know that we are very intersectional in our activism and we are two young educated people of color,” said Hampton in an interview with Alternet.
Linda Parisi, Hampton’s lawyer, told the Guardian, “It’s an irony that a woman of color, who was at a public rally to shine a light on police brutality, is arrested for lynching.”
If convicted Hampton faces up to four years in prison.
Image Credit: Anita Chabria/Alternet