In March, a group of Black Lives Matter activists knocked on the door of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s home to invite her to a community meeting. Her husband, David Lacey, is now facing gun charges for pulling a pistol out on the activists.
NBC News reports that David Lacey has been charged with three counts of assault with a firearm by the California Attorney General’s office. On March 2, the protesters knocked on the Laceys front door a little after 5:30 a.m. David Lacey answered the door with his gun drawn and told the protesters, “I’ll shoot you. I don’t care who you are.” Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African studies at California State University, Los Angeles and co-founder of Black Lives Matter-LA, tweeted a video of the exchange.
Abdullah told NBC News that the experience was “traumatizing,” and she wondered to herself if “that’s how I’m going to go.” She was surprised that the Attorney General’s Office had filed charges against David Lacey. “What happened was just so outrageous and so egregious. Even though we call for justice, we don’t expect justice. We have very little faith in the system,” Abdullah told NBC. Jackie Lacey released a statement saying the experience “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. My husband felt that we were in danger and acted out of genuine concern for our well being,” Lacey added.
“At this time we are not going to comment on the facts of the case, except to say that my client’s human instinct is forever and always to protect his wife and his family and to keep them safe from physical harm,” Sam Tyre, Lacey’s attorney, wrote in a statement emailed to NBC.
Lacey is the county’s first Black woman to become district attorney. Activists have been critical of her friendliness to law enforcement and her record of not filing charges against any officers who have been involved in shooting deaths. Protests were held outside her home in March to demand her resignation.
She is facing re-election this year and failed to gather enough votes to avoid a runoff in November. Her challenger, former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, was a Los Angeles police commander who was instrumental in reforming the department in the wake of the Rampart scandal of the late ’90s.