Two women were arrested on Tuesday after one of them threw what she said were her niece’s ashes at Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck as part of a protest.
Sheila Hines-Brim said she was protesting the death of her niece Wakiesha Wilson, who died in LAPD custody in 2016. Video of the incident shows Hines-Brim walking away from Beck and shouting, “That’s Wakiesha. She’s going to stay with you.’”
She was joined in the protest by Melina Abdullah, a professor and local Black Lives Matter activist. Both women were booked on charges of suspicion of battery on a police officer and released later that night. Beck was at a Dodgers game later that evening to throw the ceremonial first pitch.
“I used her ashes so they could be with him. So he can feel her because he murdered her. They covered it up,” Hines-Brim told KCAL after she was released from jail.
When asked if she had any regrets about the incident, Hines-Brim defiantly told KNBC, “No, I don’t regret.”
Authorities claim Wilson hung herself in a downtown jail cell. She was found there on Easter Sunday in 2016.
Wilson’s family has consistently questioned the circumstances of her death. Wilson’s mother, Lisa Hines, said her daughter was upbeat and looking forward to a second call when the two spoke on the day she was found dead, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But prosecutors declined to pursue charges.
“There is insufficient evidence to prove that a reasonable person would have known that leaving Wilson alone for approximately 33 minutes would result in her death,” read a report from the district attorney’s office. “Wilson’s death was unforeseeable.”
After Wilson’s family filed suit against the city, Los Angeles eventually agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to settle the case.