As soon as the news broke about former advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Rick Jacobs being the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, Garcetti couldn’t cut ties with him fast enough.
And last year, when Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas found himself on the receiving end of a 20-count indictment alleging a secret deal to get his son into USC for free–he was immediately suspended from his City Council post, and his salary and benefits were frozen. This is in addition to his colleagues publicly distancing themselves from him.
And let’s not forget how Democrats rushed to unload their donations from Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood movie producer accused of sexual misconduct.
But apparently, you can be arrested not once, not twice, but three times for rape and still get a warm embrace from the mayor, Democratic establishment, and media.
Ronald Todd Eskew, better known in Los Angeles as Najee Ali, has been arrested for rape three times, according to his arrest record. And as long as that arrest record is–the only list longer might be the number of restraining orders that have been filed against him.
Now, if you get arrested for rape once, you might make a plausible argument that you’re innocent–but three times? That’s not a coincidence. That’s a pattern.
And before you even fix your mouth to tell me that arrested is not charged or that arrested is not convicted, just because the women didn’t come forward and go through with the charges doesn’t mean Najee is innocent. If Captain Olivia Benson has taught us anything over the past 20 years of “Law & Order SVU,” it’s that silence can be a form of survival and that victim-blaming is a part of rape culture. There also isn’t a statute of limitations when it comes to talking about any aspect of a rape. Whether it was 30 years ago or 3 years ago.
Do we honestly believe the police were just driving around one day and decided to arrest Najee Ali for rape–three separate times?
And while I know in this more kinder and gentler country where we want to give people second, third, or however many chances it takes for them to get it right in their lives–we haven’t moved the needle on allegations of rape being considered a bad thing–and that’s if you are arrested once.
So why is it that an entirely separate list of rules exists for one man in Los Angeles? Why is the fact that Najee Ali was arrested for rape ignored by so many leading to his nickname the “Teflon Don?”
It never ceases to amaze me how people act incredulous when presented with the truth about Najee Ali. The reaction is the same as it was for people who refused to believe the accusations against R. Kelly. Complete denial and utter disbelief.
I used to be like that. When Najee Ali got out of prison the last time, I thought he was a cool righteous brother. That is until he started dating a girlfriend of mine and I was called over to her house because he was hurting her in front of her children and wouldn’t leave. That’s a true story. He knows it. I know it. She knows it. The only reason I could never convince her to come forward was because she was scared of Najee and he had threatened to use his influence to ruin her business.
He’s publicly tried to attack me physically, along with Black Lives Matter’s Melina Abdullah, and other women in front of witnesses. He tried to attack me and Jasmine Abdullah in a room full of police officers who didn’t do one single thing to stop him except escort him to the other side of the room where he was allowed to continue his attacks.
And even though she ended up recanting, his own wife at one point began to speak out about the abuse she had endured. It is not unusual for victims of domestic violence to recant their stories because they are afraid of more violence or because the perpetrators threatened them.
We also know he stalked Congresswoman Maxine Waters to the point where she filed for a restraining order against him.
In the court filing, the Congresswoman said Ali “threatened to get me some day” and is “attempting to create a situation that will appear to be harassment in order to sue me. He will stalk me. I’m very public.”
More recently, Najee Ali stalked me and Roland Martin in Leimert Park during a live broadcast where we were discussing the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Civil Unrest. He was standing there glaring and mumbling under his breath the whole time. It was creepy. You see, unlike Najee, I wasn’t in jail for committing a forbidden act during an emergency and could speak from actual experience of witnessing the events as they unfolded.
But the question remains, why is someone who clearly has no problem attacking women and who has been arrested for rape three times being invited to a mayoral candidate’s fundraiser, roaming around City Hall like he owns the place, embraced by the local Democratic Party establishment and even by our police chief? Do you think the mayor or other politicians would be smiling in photos with anyone else with a similar history? Would that same person be constantly used as a source for news reporters too lazy to research who they are quoting and to work to find other voices from LA’s Black community?
I think it’s a fair question–particularly in a #MeToo politically correct city like Los Angeles.
Activist or not, arrested for rape three times is arrested for rape three times. So if no one else is getting a pass, why is Najee Ali? And more importantly, what message is that sending to women? I know with some of the women Najee Ali dated it reinforces to them they better keep their mouths shut and never come forward about what he’s done to them because he has friends in high places. Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, Ed Buck.
Najee Ali is not the only ambulance and police chasing Black activist in this city. But he is probably the only one who has been arrested for rape three times and has a questionable history of dealing with women in the community he claims to represent.
I can hear it now, it’s personal. She’s making it personal. Well, uh, yeah, I am. I take rape accusations personally–especially when the person is still lying about even being arrested. I take it personally when I witness someone try and physically attack another woman and I damn sure take my own safety personally.
The bottom line is that the mayor, city councilmembers, mayoral candidates, the police chief, and the media–particularly the Los Angeles Times and Wave Newspaper–must stop giving Najee Ali a platform and a pass to hurt us. He doesn’t deserve it, we, Black women, don’t deserve it and you are only helping him to continue to intimidate women who might want to come forward.
He was arrested for rape three times and LA’s mayor just loves him–will our next mayor give him a pass too?