Ali, who is frequently called on by the news media as a spokesperson for Black people in Los Angeles and is known to be a trusted confidant of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and an ally for police chief Charlie Beck on Black issues, most recently criticized Tavis Smiley after PBS said an investigation found “troubling allegations” of misconduct by the radio and TV host.
Ali recently told the Electronic Urban Report
, “Smiley is just the latest sexual terrorist that the #Metoo campaign has taken down and brought to justice…This is the nail in the coffin for Smiley. Black woman are rising up and refusing to be silenced.”
But NAN Western Regional Director and Los Angeles Chapter President Pastor K.W. Tulloss said that Najee Ali has his own skeletons in the closet–skeletons that include recently beating his wife and possibly using crack again.
Tulloss said that while he’s been told over the years about Najee Ali’s history of verbal and physical abuse of women in the community and his spouses, that it wasn’t until Ali’s current wife came to him for help after he beat her that he said enough was enough.
“I’ve heard allegations,” Tulloss explained. “I’ve never heard from the victims directly. But this is his wife who reached out to me and I just can’t have that. It was a process. Najee and I have been friends for 13 years. He introduced me to Reverend Sharpton 13 years ago. And so I’ve already had a sense of loyalty and brotherhood. His wife is a wonderful person. She doesn’t deserve none of the things that she claims are happening to her. Him pulling her hair, putting his fist across her face, throwing her across the room, punching her in front of her daughter.”
Tulloss explains Najee Ali’s wife reaching out to him.
“Around the end of October we had a dinner with representatives from R.J. Reynolds to discuss the dialogue that we’ve been having when I received a call late that night from his wife. She began to tell me that she was involved in domestic abuse by him. I advised her to call the police to make a report and get out of there. She agreed and said he had a drug problem. I said that I know he’s had problems in the past that other have shared with me and so it might be crack again–and really those are the symptoms that she described to me in phone conversations and via text messages. I encouraged her to go to the authorities and she told me that she was in fear of her life. I told her that since she’s in fear of her life that she had the ability and support to make this stop by going to the police.”
Reverend Sharpton backed up Tulloss’ claims by adding, “ I know that she made a disturbing call to Rev. Tulloss and that he called me and told me that he could not condone this. Tulloss knows that I go back many years with Najee Ali, but I said that we can’t condone that so you have to do what you have to do.”
Tulloss said that he called Najee Ali and told him that he was no longer a part of NAN.
“Our parting from Najee Ali had to do with him putting his hands on his wife. He’s out of control, his mind is not right. He’s battling with whatever he’s battling with. I just fear for his wife. I didn’t want to make it public but I was convinced the truth had to be made known after he made comments about Tavis Smiley and others. He’s just as worse as them.”
Tulloss says that Ali has been estranged from NAN for several months following Tulloss’ refusal to testify against Skid Row activist General Jeff for allegedly assaulting Ali.
Homeless activist Jeffrey Page, better known as General Jeff or the Mayor of Skid Row was convicted of assault on Najee Ali
last month after Ali testified Jeff punched him the face.
The case centers on a November 10, 2015 meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission where according to court papers Najee Ali told the police that General Jeff was an “activist with the Black Lives Matter Movement.” Shortly afterwards, in the lobby of LAPD headquarters, Ali was allegedly heard by officers yelling, “What the hell!” before pointing out General Jeff to the police and asking if he could have him arrested for punching him in the face.
General Jeff, a well known advocate for the homeless and Skid Row, denies being a member of Black Lives Matter or punching Najee Ali.
According to court documents, officers overheard General Jeff yell, “Don’t disrespect women!”
Witnesses say that General Jeff, in defending Dr. Melina Abdullah, an organizer with Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter, from Ali’s verbal attacks and to make him stop, made a flinching movement toward Najee Ali to which Ali seemingly got scared before ducking and going over to the front desk to report to the police that he’d been allegedly punched in the face.
“Najee became very angry with me when I refused to testify against General Jeff,” Tulloss said. “I got subpoenaed. I went down there and I told them that I didn’t remember anything that happened. He was furious in reference to that. So Najee hasn’t been a part of NAN for a while besides him writing articles saying that he’s our political director.”
Once Ali was aware that Tulloss and other members of the community knew about his recent domestic violence against his wife, Tulloss says that Ali has been on a public relations rant to try and smear NAN, Tulloss and Reverend Sharpton in an attempt to try and save his public image and keep the truth from coming out.
A recent article in the Compton Herald claimed that Ali’s ousting from NAN was over a disagreement with tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s attempt to fight efforts by public health advocates to restrict its menthol sales. Ali says that he took money from Reynolds to his meeting of Black leaders in South Los Angeles but later had a change of heart.
“I was paid a small sum to invite a group of leading South L.A community leaders for a private presentation on the tobacco issue a few weeks ago,” he told the Compton Herald
. “But after listening to the presentation, I realized that I didn’t want an association with a corporation responsible for so much death, disease, and suffering. [Afterwards] I apologized to all my colleagues I had invited.”
Reverend Sharpton sharply contradicts that narrative.
“Whatever the differences are with the Los Angeles Chapter of NAN and Najee Ali it had nothing to do with no tobacco position because we haven’t taken a position. Our position has been that since a former congressman came to us–because Eric Garner was choked to death for selling loosies–saying that this could potentially happen again if there was a ban of menthol because it could give police the right to deal with people selling loosies in the same way–we let them come before our convention. Some of our chapter leaders were for it–some against it. They voted and agreed to do a series of forums around the country if they would pay for the travel and all for it and that was the agreement. But we didn’t take a position for or against the ban. It is not true that there were differences over that.
NAN’s L.A. Chapter President Pastor Tulloss agrees and says that the narrative Najee Ali is trying to paint is patently false.
“We stood by Najee Ali when he got into physical confrontations with everyone from the Nation of Islam representatives there [Los Angeles] going back a few years and they wanted us to severance ties and we said no we stand by him,” said Reverend Sharpton. “He got into a whole shouting match with Maxine Waters and we stood by him. So to reduce Reverend Tulloss and them to this now when’s he defended him against Congresswoman Waters, the Nation of Islam and everyone else and then to distort it I think is unfair.”
In 2006 Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters accused Ali of stalking her and was issued a temporary restraining order against him.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in the court filing, the congresswoman said Ali has “confronted me on several occasions.” She said she believes he is attempting to “set me up” and accused the activist of having a “long history and reputation for confrontation.”
The restraining order also stated that Ali “threatened ‘to get me some day.’ “
In 2008, the Los Angeles Sentinel
one of the multiple restraining orders filed against Najee Ali by various women.
Ali has had confrontations with many well-respected elected officials and community leaders including Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, Councilman and former police chief Bernard Parks, Brother Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, Laura Hendricks, a merchant in Leimert Park and even his former father-in-law, Imam Warith D. Muhammad. He has a reputation of antagonizing members of the community, forcibly intervening in the affairs of families during their time of crisis, and showing up and/calling press conferences to promote himself. Some of the mainstream media are complicit in Ali’s less-than-honorable behavior; they seem to parade him as a leader, which actually insults the community where he is generally considered a person non-grata and a predator.
In 2016, Najee Ali was recorded on video
at a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission verbally assaulting Black Lives Matter Los Angeles organizer and Cal State L.A. Pan African Studies Chair Dr. Melinah Abdullah and Black Lives Matter Pasadena founder Jasmine Abdullah.
Ironically, Ali is currently a member of Mayor Garcetti and Beck’s Crisis Response Team (CRT). Members of the CRT respond to traumatic incidents at the request of the Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles Fire Departments and provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, act as a liaison between the victim and emergency personnel and give referrals to victims and their families affected by a death, a violent or domestic crime or other traumatic incidents.
“At the end of the day,” Tulloss concluded, “he needs help and the only way he’s going to get help is if those within the community who say they love him really push him to get the help that he needs. That includes Mayor Garcetti, Chief Beck, Karen Bass–those that support him. The only way he’s going to get help is if us that claim that we love and appreciate him get him the help that he needs. He needs some help.”