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Help Michael Fight LAPD Harassment!
$2,255 raised
9% of $25k goal
9 contributors
2 Years running

Michael’s Situation

Michael Boddie is a beloved and well-known member of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Village Community. He is the father of three beautiful children, a 4, 6, and 17 year-old and a mentor, father figure, and older brother to many young people in the community.

Michael has a documented history of being unfairly targeted, harassed, and abused by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). On March 2nd, 2017, Michael was one of fifteen folks arrested during a SWAT-operated LAPD raid.

A total of 5 elders including Michael were picked up during this raid and taken from the community, including a 79 year-old person. Michael was held without any legal justification in the custody of the state for one month while his children, friends, and neighbors fought for his release!

On April 4th, 2017, as a result of community pressure and Michael's hiring of an independent attorney, Michael was released on bail. Despite this temporary victory, his fight for freedom from incarceration and police harassment is far from over, and he is to return to court on May 15th 2017 for a preliminary hearing, at which time Michael  may faces years in prison and the removal from his neighborhood. 

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Village is among the last predominantly black working class communities in Los Angeles, and is rapidly undergoing gentrification. The City and the LAPD are removing elders, shaman, and community leaders from their neighborhoods in an effort to break down the very fabric of the community - we cannot allow this!

As a result of the LAPD’s most recent assault, Michael has acquired thousands of dollars in legal fees. Please donate to help pay for Michael’s fees and reimburse his friends, who provided bail while also seeking to protect their families from the LAPD. 

In addition to LAPD’s harassment, abuse and profiling, Michael and his friends should not bear the financial burden themselves.

Details of the Case

Michael is a mentor to many young folks in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Village Community, and is the CEO of a music studio used by community youth. Michael is considered by many to be an older brother or a father figure. In his spare time, Michael fixes and sells cars.

Since his case over 11 years ago and outside of his experiences with police harassment, Michael has not had run-ins with law enforcement as a result of indecent or criminal activity. He has worked hard to rebuild his life and be a positive role model to children. He has cut all ties to the gang community and covered his gang tattoos. He has cared for and supported community members who were incarcerated, and encouraged kids in gangs to make different choices and leave their involvement behind. Michael is respected by young people and families for his grounding presence in the community.

Despite these changes, police have been determined to paint the picture of Michael as a gang member and “shot-caller.” Michael and other community members have experienced a long history of abuse, profiling, and harassment by LAPD. A clear and well-documented example of this is an incident which occurred on September 5th 2016, when Michael was stopped and confronted by approximately 15 police cars and armed officers while he was on his way to his daughter’s 4th birthday party.

Michael’s car was also occupied by an elder and a 21-year old man, and at least eight officers pointed their guns at Michael, whose arms were in the air. Without a warrant or Michael’s consent, the police searched Michael’s vehicle, including his daughter’s birthday presents. Police found nothing, though they had detained and handcuffed Michael and other two men.

Furthermore, Michael has been consistently harassed at one of his places of work, a local store where he was hired because the owner knew of Michael's reputation within the community. Along with his friend Alex, Michael was routinely surveilled, filmed, and pulled over by LAPD in his neighborhood or as he travelled to and from his home, and none of the reasons officers provided to explain their presence ever made sense. 

On March 2nd, 2017, Michael Boddie was one of 15 people arrested during a SWAT Operated LAPD Raids in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Village. Officers raided more than a dozen single family homes, under the pretense of promoting public safety. In reality they took away community members, including 5 elders, one of whom was a 79 year-old man.

During this raid, Michael was removed by force from his children, family and community and charges have been piled up against him, all of which are unfounded.

Last Monday, April 3rd, 2017, Michael, joined by his friends and supporters, attended Michael’s 4th court hearing to address the question of bail and the reason for Michael's being held. During this hearing, Judge Renee Korn informed Michael and his supporters that there was no 1275.1 Hold justifying detainment, meaning that Michael had been held for one month without any legal ground and prevented from returning to his family and friends in the community.

Michael's attorney commented he had never seen this Hold before and Judge Korn thought it to be “mysterious”. Michael's bail was reduced, set, and he was released from jail the following morning.

Michael’s release is a victory in our battle for justice for Michael Boddie. As the State attempted to criminalize, vilify, and to stack up additional charges against Michael, judges were also steadily increasing Michael's bail amount. Our eyes watching this case, our actions and Michael obtaining an independent attorney to uphold his rights, has turned the tables around, momentarily.

We thank each of you for all and any support you have provided, from signing the petition, sharing it online, and being present in court. While this is a victory for Michael, his friends, family, and the community as a whole, the fight for Michael's freedom, safety, and overall wellness is far from over.

The first phase of our battle resulted in a victory - Michael being released from the State’s custody. The second phase of this fight entails that we continue with our commitment to protect and stand firm with Michael Boddie and the Village to demand that Jackie Lacey drop the charges and as we prepare for his Preliminary Hearing on May 15th, 2017.

Every contribution is appreciated and goes directly to an account in Michael's name. In addition to LAPD’s harassment, abuse and profiling, Michael should not bear the financial burden himself! 

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