Los Angeles, CA – The husband of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault on Monday for pointing a gun at a mob of Black Lives Matter protesters on his front porch in March.
Court records showed that the California Attorney General’s Office filed three counts of misdemeanor assault with a firearm against David Lacey on Aug. 4 in connection with the March 2 incident, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The incident occurred at about 5:40 a.m. on March 3 after Black Lives Matter protesters showed up at the district attorney’s home before sunrise, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Protesters told reporters at the scene that they rang the doorbell and Lacey’s husband opened it with a gun in his hand.
One of the protesters posted cell phone video of the incident to social media.
“This morning Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled a gun out on Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife in front of their house,” Jasmyne Cannick tweeted.
#BREAKING This morning Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled a gun out on Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife in front of their house. @BLMLA pic.twitter.com/wnCFMMvaWV
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) March 2, 2020
The video showed a bald man in a black shirt standing in the threshold of a home pointing a black handgun in the direction of a group of protesters on his front porch.
“Right now. Get lost!” the man ordered the protesters trespassing on his porch.
“Good morning!” a woman off camera chirped in response.
“Get off of my porch,” the man said in the video.
“Are you going to shoot me?” the same woman asked.
“I will shoot you,” he replied. “Get off of my porch.”
“Can you tell Jackie Lacey that we’re here?” the woman continued, undaunted.
“I don’t care who you are. Get off my porch right now,” the man said in the video.
“We’ll get off your porch when you tell…” she began.
“We’re calling the police right now,” the man said and then shut the front door, the video showed.
“Good, good,” the woman said with a shaky voice. “He pulled a gun and pointed it at my chest.”
Then she started yelling at the house again.
“We’re here for the community meeting Jackie Lacey,” the woman hollered.
And then the rest of the demonstrators started chanting “Jackie Lacey will go” as the video ended.
“For clarity for folks outside of Los Angeles who don’t know the history, @BLMLA (Black Lives Matter Los Angeles) has been trying to meet with their elected District Attorney for years. She hasn’t met with the Black community since 2016,” Cannick tweeted.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Public Information Officer Lizeth Lomeli said no one was arrested during the protest which occurred one day ahead of the hotly-contested district attorney’s primary, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Lacey, a two-term incumbent, is popular with the law enforcement community and has been accused of not charging enough police officers with excessive force, the Los Angeles Times reported.
As such, she has become the target of anti-police groups such as Black Lives Matter, who have protested numerous campaign events and the debate.
Lacey won the March primary with almost 49 percent of the vote, according to the LA Almanac.
LAPD began investigating David Lacey immediately after the incident on their front porch, but the case will be prosecuted by the California Department of Justice to avoid conflict because the defendant used to work as an investigative auditor for the Los Angeles district attorney, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Lacey apologized to the community after the incident and said her husband had been reacting with fear because she had been receiving death threats ahead of the primary vote.
“The events that took place earlier this year have caused my family immense pain. My husband acted in fear for my safety after we were subjected to months of harassment that included a death threat no less than a week earlier,” the district attorney said. “Protesters arrived at my house shortly after 5 a.m. while I was upstairs. My husband felt that we were in danger and acted out of genuine concern for our well-being.”
Samuel Tyre, attorney for David Lacey, declined to comment on the case but said his “client’s human instinct is forever and always to protect his wife and his family and to keep them safe from physical harm,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The protesters have called the Laceys’ excuse for what happened that morning “laughable” and said the home had a doorbell camera that would have shown the mob on the porch was unarmed, according to civil rights attorney Carl Douglas who representing the three protesters named in the complaint.
“Rarely, in 40 years of toiling in this space, have I ever been so pleasantly surprised to see justice in action, that [Atty. Gen.] Xavier Becerra and his team would understand the wrongfulness and the maliciousness of David Lacey pulling a handgun on peaceful protesters,” Douglas said.
Melina Abdullah, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who was named in the complaint, was angry that David Lacey wasn’t facing federal charges in the incident, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Abdullah said the Laceys weren’t afraid and that Jackie Lacey knew exactly who she was.
“I would think that if you’re afraid you would stay in the house and call the police because you were in fear,” Abdullah told the Los Angeles Times. “They weren’t in fear. They were agitated.”
Protests in front of the Laceys’ house have continued in the run up to the November general election.
LAPD officers in riot gear descended on the neighborhood in June after protesters piled mattresses and debris on top of police vehicles in the district attorney’s neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reported.