35-yr old Trevor Ferguson, who uses the name Trevor Gerard, is a rap artist, music producer and social activist that regularly shows up at the weekly Los Angeles Police Commissioner meetings chanting and protesting the shooting of black and Latino citizens. The group's demands include the resignation of the police chief and the disbandment of the police department.
On December 16th, he and twenty of his fellow protesters showed up at the Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt Johnson's law office where they distributed fliers and spoke with one of his law partners, telling him that President Johnson was complicit in the "killing of innocent black children", according to testimony. It was when they showed up two days later at the commissioner's Sherman Oaks home that Johnson decided to get a restraining order. Ferguson was detained by police when he allegedly joked that he was going to walk up to the front door and ring the doorbell.
The restraining order was a test of the boundary between free speech and harassment, but after an eventual March 1st hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Goodson ruled that Ferguson intended to incite fear. The order of protection requires Ferguson to stay away from the Police Commissioner president and his family. Johnson told the media that he respected the first amendment, but Ferguson's behavior crossed the line.
The right to protest has led to tremendous gains for people who look like myself and Mr. Ferguson, it’s something I deeply respect. But there is a line, and for me, that line is when you threaten the safety of my family. Like any father, I’m not going to apologize for taking steps to protect the safety of my family.
~ LA Times
Ferguson is allowed to still attend the weekly commissioner meetings, but he must stay 5 yards away from Johnson.
In addition to civil harassment restraining orders, our firm can help you obtain domestic violence restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, and workplace violence restraining orders. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
Photo is licensed under CC BY 2.0 [cropped & blurred]