VIDEO: Sacramento police arrest 20-year-old black activist Maile Hampton for 'lynching'

Maile Hampton, a black 20-year-old woman and local political activist (pictured above), was arrested this past Monday with charges of felony “lynching.” 

City police arrived at 8:55 p.m. that night at her north Sacramento home with an arrest warrant touting charges of misdemeanor obstruction of justice and attempting to remove an individual from police custody, otherwise known as “lynching” under state law.

The charges against Hampton date back to a January 18 action at the state Capitol. On that day, a pro-law enforcement rally was taking place. Hampton and fellow activists with ANSWER Sacramento—an anti-war, anti-racism group—showed up to counter-protest. Their action was rooted in the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The case against Hampton allegedly stems from this video, below, according to sources:

At the 0:06 mark, a police officer is holding a protester in the street. One woman tries to grab him from custody. 

Soon after, Hampton appears in the screen to the officer’s right, holding a megaphone and a yellow sign, yelling in the cop’s face (her hair is in a bun). 

At the 0:12 mark in the video, she grabs an individual also being held by the police. Then she runs off.

As you’ll notice, multiple individuals are scuffling with police in this video. Hampton is the only one facing charges so far.

Later in the video, a different man is taken into custody.

The “lynching” charge, otherwise known as Penal Code 405A, specifically refers to “the taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer is a lynching.” It is a felony and is punishable by up to four years in prison in California.

Sacramento police spokesman explained in a text message that “several protesters blocked traffic on Capitol Mall and when officers attempted to detain, cite, and ultimately release for Impeding traffics, some protesters resisted and [Hampton] pulled prisoners from police’s custody.”

Morse told SN&R that the “Sacramento DA’s office reviewed the case and filed charges, and Sacramento Superior Court sighed an arrest warrant based on the facts of the case.”

After Hampton’s arrest this past Monday night, she was held in county jail for nearly 24 hours, but was released on Tuesday at around 10:30 p.m. without arraignment. She is scheduled to appear in court on March 16.

Just before her release from jail, nearly two dozen individuals spoke out on Hampton’s behalf at a city council meeting, asking Mayor Kevin Johnson and members to “Free Maile,” as their many signs read.

Estevan Hernandez, an activist with ANSWER Sacramento, says Hampton has been involved with the group since this past summer. She as a big part of the post-Ferguson “Black Lives Matter” movement.

He says during the January 18 protest, police tried to “violently” suppress the counter-protestors. He cited the above video.

He also says the video is evidence that Maile is innocent. “It’s totally trumped-up charges, it’s a grave exaggeration. What this is really about … it’s a revenge case. That’s what it really is.” He says police are targeting leadership of the ANSWER Sacramento group on the heels of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sacramento police had yet to respond to SN&R’s request to comment on and discuss Hampton’s case as of this morning. This story will be updated with their comments ASAP.

Hampton posted a message to her Facebook friends earlier this morning.

At last night’s city council meeting, Mayor Johnson took a few moments to sympathize with the many public commenters. He said that he personally knew Hampton and that she was “doing good” in the community. He also said that the speakers’ voices were heard.

On Wednesday, he posted the following series of Tweets:

ANSWER Sacramento will hold a protest for Hampton and against what they call “police repression” this Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m., location to be determined.

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