A 73-year-old R&B legend, and former lead singer for the Chambers Brothers, is suing for $5 million after being assaulted onstage following dedication of a song to Trayvon Martin.
Lester Chambers was attacked at the Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival in July, the day after Martin’s attacker, George Zimmerman, was found not guilty of committing a crime. Police arrested Barstow resident Dinalynn Andrews, aka Dinalynn Andrews-Potter, and charged her with misdemeanor assault and battery, according to The Guardian, but later added elder abuse to the list and refiled the misdemeanors as felonies.
Chambers sued the festival’s co-sponsors, the city of Hayward and the Bay Area Blues Society, in Alameda County Superior Court for negligence, and Andrews-Potter for the assault, according the Courthouse News Service.
Chambers, who is black, was performing Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” which he had dedicated to Trayvon Martin and his family, when Andrews-Potter climbed on the stage and attacked him. The moment was captured on video and shows the 43-year-old woman being wrestled to the ground by onlookers. Chambers was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
A CBS affiliate, KPIX, reported that Andrews-Potter told police she has a stress disorder and snapped during the song because of its repetitive lyrics and beat. But some suspect there may have been other motivation. The lawsuit reportedly claims the accused was hurling racial slurs, but she has not been charged with a hate crime.
Chambers said in an interview following the incident that after the woman jumped on stage, she “proceeded to get in my face and call me all kinds of MFs and at the same time telling me I started all of this. I was asking for peace.”
The Martin case captivated and polarized the nation for more than a year after the February 2012 attack in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, a mixed-race Hispanic, followed Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, through a gated community where Martin was staying. Zimmerman shot Martin after confronting him, but was acquitted by the jury of manslaughter and second-degree murder charges.
The lawsuit claims the woman did not have a ticket to attend the festival and shouldn’t have been admitted in the first place. It also claims there were no security personnel around when the attack occurred.