The president of the Los Angeles Police Commission has filed a request for a temporary restraining order against a prominent member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, alleging a pattern of stalking and violent threats. According to the order, the commission president feared for his life and the safety of his family.
The Black Lives Matter activist, Trevor Gerard, denies the allegations, which he says distort the truth and are politically motivated.
Matt M. Johnson, who's been police commission president since September 2015, alleges in the complaint that Gerard stalked him at his home and at the private law office where he works, angrily demanding to speak with him. Johnson also alleges that Gerard mouthed violent threats to Johnson from the audience at board meetings and made threatening statements, including “a gratuitous reference” to Johnson’s children.
Gerard, 35, says the commission president deliberately took statements and actions of his out of context in retaliation for Black Lives Matter L.A.'s confrontational style of activism. “I never told him that he should be afraid of me,” Gerard tells L.A. Weekly. “I never told him to meet me outside. I never threatened him with any kind of physical violence. ”
Gerard has been a vocal member of Black Lives Matter L.A. since taking part in the 54-day encampment at City Hall in July. That protest was in response to the L.A. Police Commission's ruling that the 2015 police killing of Redel Jones, a 30-year-old black woman, did not violate the department's deadly force policy.
Gerard frequently attends commission meetings and speaks during the public comment time, often addressing members of the commission directly, even abrasively. (He has addressed Johnson at board meetings using the epithet “houseboy.”)
Johnson’s restraining order request calls for Gerard to stay at least 100 yards away from Johnson, Johnson’s wife and children, and his home and the law firm where he works. Additionally, it would require Gerard to stay at least five yards away from Johnson during public meetings, though he may still address the Board of Police Commissioners during the public comment time.
Gerard says he plans to contest the restraining order at a court hearing on Jan. 10.