Back in January, 20-year-old Black Lives Matter activist, Maile Mae Hampton was arrested for interfering with the arrest of another activist.
The Guardian reports that in 1933 California’s “lynching” laws intended to prevent mobs from forcibly taking people from police custody, but unfortunately “the statute has long been used against protesters as well and refers to any ‘riotous conduct aimed at freeing a person’ from police.”
Hampton could have faced up to four years in jail for the felony charge.
Rather, prosecutors in Sacremento have presented an amended complaint against Hampton that “is equally applicable to the conduct alleged in this action but does not carry with it the racially charged and inflammatory terminology associated” with the lynching charge.
The amended charge is a single misdemeanor charge of “interference with a peace officer in the performance of his/her duties.”
Hampton expressed her relief leaving the courthouse, stating, “I am very surprised that Sacramento chose to do the right thing but happily surprised. That could have straight-up ruined my life.”
A court date for Hampton was set for May. Her pro-bono attorney reiterated Hampton’s “not guilty” plea to the lesser charge.
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