We need all your support in helping Naj K. Smith get justice. There was no crime committed, and all of those present (it happened while he was mentoring youth...bringing them out on a Friday night ride) feel strongly that he was arrested because he is black. Continue reading for a first-hand account.
Najari Smith is a Bay Area hero. His incredible youth mentoring programs in Richmond center around getting kids and young people (and old people) on bikes, out in nature, and building community through fun and wellness. He is the founder of Rich City Rides. According to its website, “Rich City Rides is a bike shop with a mission. Our dedicated staff and volunteers come together to help create a healthier city. Our programs focus on creating opportunities to improve health and economics by promoting cycling as a social, sustainable and green mode of transportation. Here is the terrible story of what happened taken from Jennifer Rougeaux's post on the East Bay Bike Party Facebook Page:
"On Friday, Aug. 3, Naj took a group of young people on a first Friday ride. As usual, Naj had his speaker and typical rig he always rides with. He was jammin his usual non-offensive tunes when an OPD OFFICER grabbed his handlebars and stopped his bike. Naj politely got off his bike and proceeded to understand what the cops issue was. Being an example to the youth he was leading he remained calm and respectful even the youth were outraged. He had to de-escalate the youth and talk with this cop who was upset about Najari’s music. He first stated he was giving a citation for the loud music so Naj turned it off altogether next thing you know Naj was in handcuffs bike rig and speaker have all been confiscated and he was booked and sent to Rita where he spent his weekend. He was able to make bail but can you believe this?? Where is the crime?? How sway how?? We want his bike rig and speaker all back in mint condition along with the bail money returned and compensation for missing work and for traumatizing youth". Please sign the petition and share it, but also take a couple minutes to contact Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley to tell her to drop all charges against our dear friend, beloved community member, and social, environmental and economic justice activist, Naj K. Smith who has been targeted by racist policing while doing the beautiful love-spreading life-enhancing work that he does. You can reach O'Malley at 510-272-6222 or [email protected]