A CUNY graduate alleges that she was suspended after City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo intervened in response to the student's protest against Cumbo at a community board meeting last year, according to a federal lawsuit.

Medgar Evers College alum Sakia Fletcher went to a "characteristically contentious" Community Board 9 meeting protesting Cumbo's positions on development projects on April 30th, 2019 as a student government leader, the complaint reads.

At the meeting, Fletcher was detained and removed by officers from the community board meeting, according to a video.

In another video, Cumbo and Fletcher are seen arguing with each other.

"This is why we fail as a people," Cumbo tells her.

Fletcher replies: "You say one thing, but yet another time, when you're passing these proposals ... it's against the community."

To the crowd, Cumbo said, "I'm tired of people hijacking our meetings."

One day after the meeting, Medgar Evers College moved to suspend Fletcher after Cumbo allegedly called Dean of Student Affairs Alexis McLean, the lawsuit alleges.

When Fletcher's lawyer attempted to obtain records of a formal complaint, the college claimed such evidence did not exist, according to the allegations.

Four days after the community board meeting, McLean wrote to Cumbo's office to apologize to Cumbo, noting the email was an "update" to her about the "progress the College has made in redressing what occurred" during the community board meeting, court documents say. Cumbo's office further alerted the college that she wished the hearing for her suspension would be "'closed' to the pubic," according to court documents.

"If Medgar Evers College is allowed to do this without any consequences, I think it sends a very clear message to people who want to protest powerful people [with whom] they disagree, and that message is: Be very careful who you criticize because it might come back to get you," Remy Green, Fletcher's lawyer, told Gothamist.

That's in part why Green and Fletcher are fighting the case—to preserve that right to protest.

Green added: "Direct action is the classic form of actually getting things done."

"You should not be afraid to speak up," Fletcher told the Daily News, which first reported on the lawsuit, filed this summer.

In court documents, McLean wrote to Fletcher saying she had violated CUNY's rules by interrupting the community board meeting and that she had "failed to comply" with two officers' instructions to leave the auditorium. The college said she had engaged in "disorderly or indecent conduct" on university property (the board meeting was on campus that day).

Green said disorderly conduct cannot be based purely on speech, and it is a lie that Fletcher declined to be removed by officers.

The City University of New York declined to comment on pending litigation.

Medgar Evers College told the Daily News: "The allegations in the complaint are factually inaccurate and offensive. We are confident the frivolous lawsuit will be favorably resolved."

But Green said, "There's no fact in dispute here."

"They did enact an emergency suspension for pure speech," Green said. "That's unconstitutional."

Medgar Evers declined to comment about the details surrounding Fletcher's suspension, citing privacy reasons.

The lawsuit filed earlier this summer alleges Fletcher's First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. She was eventually reinstated back at the college and has since graduated, Green said.

"I am not at liberty to comment on an ongoing lawsuit," Cumbo said in a statement to Gothamist. "I look forward to commenting on the conclusion of the lawsuit when the truth and facts have been presented."

Law Department spokesperson Nicholas Paolucci said the claims against Cumbo have "no merit."

"The First Amendment gives people the right to express their opinion even when they are misguided and wrong," Paolucci added.

Cumbo has previously criticized protests led by members of the Democratic Socialists of America against her this summer. Her former opponent in a 2017 city council race and Democratic nominee for the state senate Jabari Brisport staged a demonstration outside her home demanding she agree to shifting the police department's budget to housing, education, and healthcare during a contentious budget process as protesters slept overnight at City Hall, Gay City News reported. She then held her own protest in front of Brisport's apartment a few days later.

She harshly criticized Brisport for the June action, saying, "A real Black Man from Brooklyn would never roll up at a Black woman's home with her child with a bullhorn." Cumbo was among Black lawmakers who opposed defunding the police department, likening it to "colonization," the NY Times reported last month.

"What Medgar Evers is doing here is very consistent with how Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD treat protests. It's very consistent with Councilmember Cumbo's attitude towards police reform in the city budget. I think it's very consistent with [an] ethic that says protest is okay until you protest the wrong people and that pervades, in many ways, NYC government," Green added.