Crime & Justice

9 booked on vandalism, conspiracy charges for 405 Freeway protest

Nine protesters were arrested Wednesday, December 23, 2015 for blocking traffic on one of the nation's busiest freeways, on one of its busiest travel days.
Nine protesters were arrested Wednesday, December 23, 2015 for blocking traffic on one of the nation's busiest freeways, on one of its busiest travel days.
Twitter video via Tory Barneson Benoit

Nine people arrested for blocking traffic on the 405 Freeway Wednesday have been booked into jail on charges of vandalism, blocking the freeway and conspiracy to commit those acts, California Highway Patrol officials said Thursday. 

The CHP said Melina Rachal Abdullah, 43; Miranda D. Sheffield, 30; Dahlia Ferlito, 35; Paul Michael Shirey, 33; Tekoah B. A. Flory, 23; Joseph Michael Williams, 22; Kwazi T. Nkrumah, 61, and two 17-year-old youths — whose names were not released because they are juveniles — were booked into the Los Angeles County Jail on Wednesday.

"We will complete our investigation and take our report to the District Attorney's Office for them to review for any possible filing of charges," said CHP spokesman Sgt. Chris Jakubowski.

The activists, who were with the Black Lives Matter protest group, are accused of blocking the freeway's lanes and painting slogans and the names of several victims of alleged police brutality on the pavement. The protest shut down the southbound lanes at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and lasted about 15 minutes. 

Video: 405 protest

It was one of several Black Lives Matter protests held in U.S. cities — including acts of civil disobedience in Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco — that took place this week. In a statement, the group said it hopes the actions would  draw attention to incidents they said show "a consistent reiteration of the devaluing of Black life by law enforcement and their supporters."