By Ned Meiners
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In March, Yusuf Labib attended a Black Lives Matter protest in San Francisco, and questioned a San Francisco Police Officer about his Blue Lives Matter attire.
According to the S.F.P.D., the situation between Labib and the officer escalated and Labib allegedly assaulted the police officer with a laser pointer. Labib denies the allegation.
Last Friday morning in San Francisco County Superior Court, a trial date was set in his case. Although the trial was scheduled to start on Friday, but no court room was available and the case was continued.
On March 13, Labib and some friends participated in a memorial for Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Louisville one year earlier. At the event he spotted a San Francisco Police Officer wearing a Blue Lives Matter shirt. He questioned the officer regarding his choice to promote the symbol.
The display of the Blue Lives Matter symbol, a black and white American flag with a blue line down the middle, by police officers has been controversial. In Minnesota, the Brooklyn Park Police Department was criticized for flying the Blue Lives Matter flag following the police killing of Daunte Wright.
One police department in Madison, WI has banned the symbol entirely.
Police claim that the interaction between Labib and the officer grew heated and the defendant assaulted the officer using an unusual weapon, a laser pointer. Labib is charged with assault likely to produce great bodily injury.
San Francisco Public Defender Gabriella Rodezno maintains that the police were, in fact, the aggressors.
According to Rodezno, “In this particular case Mr. Labib was violently attacked by S.F.P.D. This was during a protest. He has absolutely no criminal record whatsoever.”
At the hearing, the defense noted that Labib had received eight positive reports from his case manager. The defendant is participating in San Francisco’s Assertive Case Management Program, which provides structured, in-person support for individuals involved in criminal court proceedings.
San Francisco Judge Gail Dekreon acknowledged that Labib has been “compliant” with all the terms requested by the Court.
Ned Meiners is a Legal Studies student at City College San Francisco. Originally from Maine, he currently resides on Bernal Hill in San Francisco.
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