SACRAMENTO, Calif. – When Sacramento police arrested black activist Maile Hampton over her role in a protest last winter, it wasn't for obstructing traffic, trespassing or disturbing the peace.
It was for felony lynching.
No one was killed or even hurt in the protest. But the 20-year-old woman was booked under a 1933 section of the California penal code that applies the word "lynching" to the crime of attempting to seize someone from police custody.
While the offense was later downgraded to something more conventional, the use of the lynching charge incensed many community leaders. And it led California lawmakers to unanimously vote to strike the term from the books.
The measure won final approval last week and is now before Gov. Jerry Brown.