- A wine influencer with over 12,000 followers was arrested following a vandalism incident.
- The incident occurred at the former home of a witness who testified for Derek Chauvin’s defense.
- The influencer, Amber Lucas, denied her involvement and said that she had been “falsely accused.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In April, a red substance believed to be animal blood, as well as a pig’s head, were left outside the former California home of the man who testified for Derek Chauvin’s defense as a use-of-force expert.
One of the suspects arrested by police in Santa Rosa, California, is 35-year-old wine Instagram influencer Amber Lucas.
Lucas is a micro-influencer with over 12,000 followers on Instagram, where she mostly posts about wine and social justice issues. She is also a Commissioner on the Status of Women for Sonoma County, according to her Instagram.
The alleged vandalism incident was reported to have taken place on Saturday, April 17 in California, days before Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Brodd, a former police officer, had testified as an expert witness for Chauvin’s defense on April 13, saying that Chauvin’s actions were “objectively reasonable” and that he didn’t believe Chauvin used deadly force on Floyd.
In a statement to The San Francisco Chronicle, published on May 21, Lucas said that she had been “falsely accused” of vandalizing Brodd’s former address.
Several suspects have now been arrested
According to an April 17 press release from the Santa Rosa Police Department, the residents of Brodd’s former home awoke around 3 a.m. after a group of people dressed in black threw a pig’s head onto their front porch and splattered what is believed to be blood on the house.
Police also said they believed the incident could be connected with another one that occurred the same night. A group of people matching the description of those at the house vandalized a statue with a similar substance, leaving a sign with a pig on it that read “Oink Oink,” the press release said.
The same group that targeted Brodd’s former residence is believed to have vandalized this statue at a local mall.
Santa Rosa Police Department
Police said in the press release that Brodd had “not lived at the residence for a number of years and is no longer a resident of California.”
KPIX 5, a Bay Area CBS affiliate, reported on May 13 that two other individuals were arrested in connection with the house-vandalism investigation. Santa Rosa police told KPIX 5 that 20-year-old Rowan Dalbey and 34-year-old Kristen Aumoithe were held on felony vandalism and conspiracy charges.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said in a press release on Wednesday that it had arrested two other individuals on felony vandalism and conspiracy charges in connection with this case.
Sergeant Christopher Mahurin of the Santa Rosa Police Department told Insider that Lucas, Dalbey, and Aumoithe had court dates in August. Court information for the other two suspects was not available at press time.
Mahurin told Insider that all suspects were out of police custody as of Wednesday evening.
The wine influencer denied involvement in the incident
The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Lucas for a story on wine influencers in early May. According to the story, Lucas pivoted to wine influencing after previously focusing on fashion. In 2017, wineries began asking her to post about outfits to wear to wine tastings.
Her account, @amusedblog, has also focused on social justice issues. The description of a GoFundMe intended to cover Lucas, Aumoithe, and Dalbey’s legal fees, among other costs, says that she “has been outspoken against local police brutality, law enforcement accountability, and racial + social equity within the wine industry.”
Lucas did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a press release published on her Instagram account, lawyers representing Lucas, Aumoithe, and Dalbey said that they had been falsely accused.
“We are honored to represent good people who stand up for all our rights,” Omar Figueroa, one of the lawyers representing Lucas, said in the press release. “For example, my client Amber Lucas is a well-respected wine influencer and social justice activist who sits on the Commission on the Status of Women in Sonoma County.”
“I have been falsely accused of actions I would never do; that is not me, or what I stand for,” she told The San Francisco Chronicle. “As a community leader, what I am enduring are the very actions that I stand and speak against, and actively denounce: the targeting of women of color, the abuse of power from law enforcement, and the attempt to silence voices of advocacy and truth.”
Lucas continued, “I am aware that I am on trial in two courts — including the one of public opinion. I understand this is an attempt to silence, and discredit me within my community, and nationwide.”
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