Obviously The Man is out to get him, or something.
A Black Lives Matter activist and a co-host of the local Strange Fruit podcast was arrested and charged Monday with driving a stolen vehicle.
Louisville Metro Police officers were “conducting surveillance” on Jaison Gardner – listed in court records as Jason Gardner – and a 2016 black Mazda, according to an arrest citation.
Supporters quickly alleged that his arrest could be the result of his activism speaking out against police brutality, but a fellow activist who spoke to Gardner on Monday said it was misunderstanding over past due rental car payments.
“We don’t believe he was targeted over his activism,” said Chanelle Helm, a Black Lives Matter organizer. “We believe he was arrested because of that car.”
Helm said during a brief telephone conversation with Gardner on Monday that he said that the arresting officers had mentioned his Facebook postings and activism. She said they are concerned about those comments and will be present with Gardner through the legal process.
“Activist jumped the gun too quickly,” Helm said.
Noting the Mazda had been reported stolen, officers said they saw Gardner park the vehicle in the 400 block of West Liberty Street, leave for a short time and then return to re-enter the vehicle. It was then, just before 1 p.m. Monday, that the officers detained Gardner and took his car keys, the citation notes.
Jefferson County court records also indicate Gardner was arrested for an outstanding warrant stemming from a 2003 forgery and theft case out of Indianapolis. Helm said Gardner.
Weird how so many of the Black Lives Matter clowns are criminals, huh?
Annie O’Connell, a defense attorney representing Gardner, declined to comment.
Gardner has been a co-host of Strange Fruit for more than four years. He hosts alongside Kaila Story. The commentary show discusses politics, pop culture and black gay life.
“Jaison is a part of our team here at WFPL,” said Stephen George, executive editor of Louisville Public Media. “We’re seeking more information and will withhold further comment at this time.”
George said the show had previously been scheduled to air repeat episodes for the next two weeks.
Gardner is also a Fairness Campaign board member and actively pushes for social equality in a variety of settings, from social media to protests.
His arrest initially drew outrage from supporters on social media. Some suggested Gardner was arrested for his public protest of local police. But in a Facebook post, Tara Pruitt with the local chapter of Black Lives Matter stressed the need to resist the urge to “rush to judgment about things.”