Hayward, CA — A woman was arrested Saturday after she allegedly jumped on stage and attacked singer Lester Chambers after he dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin.
Chambers, lead singers of the 1960s soul rock group The Chambers Brothers, was performing at the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival around 5:15 pm when he dedicated the Curtis Mayfield song “People Get Ready” to Martin. According to Chambers’ wife, Lola, the 73-year-old told the audience that if Mayfield were alive today, he would change the lyrics from “there’s a train a comin'” to “there’s a change a comin.'”
That’s when 43-year-old Dinalynn Andrew Potter jumped on stage and yelled “It’s all your fault” before shoving Chambers.
“She must have been an acrobat. She did it in one leap. He didn’t see her coming,” Lola Chambers said.
“She had a crazed look in her eye,” said Kurt Kangas, a friend of Chambers. “I saw the devil there.”
People on stage with Chambers helped subdue Potter, who was arrested on suspicion of battery. She was cited and released, but could face additional charges, according to Lt. Ruben Pola. Chambers was taken to the hospital, but has since been released. He is now using a cane to walk, and his son, Dylan, said he had a “bruised rib muscle and nerve damage and he is sore all over.” A photo posted to Facebook shows Chambers with a long welt on the left side on his back.
Police are still investigating the attack and are trying to determine a motive, but the family believes it was racially motivated. They are pressing police to file hate crime charges.
The night Lester Chambers was attacked, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The day after the verdict was delivered, the NAACP posted a petition formally requesting that the Department of Justice open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. At the time of this writing, the petition had received 323,224 signatures.