ALBANY, N.Y. – Clyana Lightbourn is a prominent far-left activist who co-founded the Black Lives Matter chapter in Upstate New York. She was arrested after hundreds of cockroaches were released inside an Albany courthouse last week during a planned demonstration to disrupt an arraignment, the Post Millennial reported.
According to the Albany District Attorney’s Office, Lightbourn, 34, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration, tampering with physical evidence, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
It’s noteworthy that Lightbourn worked for the New York Senate Democratic Conference Services Office and is a statewide civil rights organizer for Citizen Action of New York, according to the news outlet.
During the June 7 arraignment of four activists, including Lighbourn, audience members began protesting inside of the courtroom, according to the Washington Times.
During the courtroom protests, Lightbourn began filming the disruption with her phone.
Officers apparently confiscated her phone during the disorder. Sources told the Washington Times that Lightbourn attempted to retrieve her phone, which subsequently led to her arrest.
During the disorder, someone further created a commotion inside the courtroom by releasing cockroaches that had reportedly been smuggled inside using plastic containers.
It is currently unclear who released the cockroaches, but the situation forced the proceedings to be moved online.
Spokesperson Lucian Chalfen for the Albany Office of Court Administration rebuked the “criminal behavior” of the disruptive activists.
“What transpired is not advocacy or activism, it is criminal behavior with the intent to disrupt a proceeding and cause damage,” Chalfen said in a statement, according to the Times Union.
Consequently, prosecutors plan to seek restitution for the costs of fumigation.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for these actions,” Chalfen admonished.
The Albany County District Attorney’s Office chastised the group’s conduct.
“While the incident remains under investigation, the Office of the District Attorney would like to emphasize that while the right to protest is protected, we oppose the disruption of court proceedings, and the apparent display of disrespect shown to the court,” a statement from the DA’s Office read.