LOS ANGELES — A judge has granted a restraining order filed against Trevor Gerard, a Black Lives Matter activist accused of threatening Los Angeles Police Commission President Matt M. Johnson and his family.
A temporary restraining order was filed in December on behalf of Johnson, who alleged that Gerard stalked him at his home and at the private law office where he works. The complaint also alleged that Gerard mouthed violent threats directed to Johnson from the audience while he attended police commission board meetings.
In an earlier interview with The Wave, Gerard had vowed to contest the charges, stating that he believed the restraining order threatened his right to free speech and is a diversion from the larger issue of police killings.
According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson granted the restraining order saying that “any parent would be concerned” by Gerard’s mentioning Johnson’s son at a Police Commission meeting and then visiting Johnson’s home.
Goodson concluded that Gerard’s intent was not to protest but to “incite fear.” The restraining order requires Gerard to stay away from Johnson and his family. Gerard can continue to speak at Police Commission meetings but must keep a five-yard distance from Johnson.
Johnson told The Times after the hearing March 1 that Gerard, who is also known as Trevor Ferguson, did cross a line.
“There is a line, and for me, that line is when you threaten the safety of my family,” he said. “Like any father, I’m not going to apologize for taking steps to protect the safety of my family.”
Gerard’s attorney told The Times that Johnson wasn’t trying to protect his family, but “protect himself from embarrassment.”
Johnson is one of two African American police commissioners. At meetings, Gerard and others have called Johnson a “houseboy” amid demands that Police Chief Charlie Beck resign and the entire department be disbanded, The Times reported.
A coalition of South Los Angeles community leaders, including Project Islamic HOPE, National Action Network, NAACP and Los Angeles Urban Policy had earlier called for LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to assign LAPD security detail to Johnson for all public appearances Johnson makes on behalf of the city. In a joint press release, the organizations stated that any threat against Johnson by BLM must be taken seriously.
Attempts to reach Gerard for comment on the judge’s ruling were unsuccessful.
City News Service contributed to this story.