LOS ANGELES (CN) – A video shot by protesters and posted to Twitter on Monday shows Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband aiming a handgun at the activists after they rang the Laceys’ doorbell and asked to speak with the DA.
A day before Los Angeles County voters head to the polls to decide if Jackie Lacey will remain in her job, protesters with the local chapter of Black Lives Matter staged a protest outside the Lacey home in Granada Hills when the incident occurred.
DA Jackie Lacey said at a morning press conference that she and her husband were alone at their home when she heard people outside sometime around 5:30 a.m.
She told police that she thought it was protesters who were making the noise and while she was upstairs her husband David Lacey ran downstairs and pulled out his gun when he answered the door.
According to a tweet posted by California State University, LA, professor and Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah, David Lacey opened the door and aimed what looked like a handgun at protesters. A woman’s voice off camera says the protesters with the Los Angeles chapter of BLM want to speak with Jackie Lacey, but the man says, “Get off of my porch. I will shoot you.”
Off camera Abdullah asks, “Can you tell Jackie Lacey we’re here?”
“I don’t care who you are. Get off of my porch, right now,” David Lacey says, pointing the gun at someone off camera. “We’re calling the police right now.”
Jackie Lacey – the first woman and first black person elected to the LA County DA’s office – faces competition from former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and former public defender Rachel Rossi. The DA’s critics view the race as an indictment of her slow acceptance of more progressive criminal justice policies.
Since taking office in 2012, Jackie Lacey’s office has only filed charges against one officer – voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a man during a traffic stop at a Norwalk gas station. Because of this, the LA chapter of Black Lives Matter holds weekly vigils outside the DA’s office at the Hall of Justice to demand justice for the unarmed men and women killed by police.
At a press conference hours after the incident, Jackie Lacey appeared emotional as she addressed the media and staff at the Hall of Justice. Lacey said as a prosecutor she’s received threats and harassment at public events, like at a candidate’s debate in January when she shared that her father was shot by someone at his Crenshaw home. Lacey said someone in the audience shouted, “Good.”
“All of this because I chose to do my job. I’m a human being. I’m a public servant. I dedicated my life to the profession that stands up for the victims of violent crime and I’m not ashamed of that. I’m not sorry that I’m doing that,” Lacey said as her voice broke.
Alone at the podium, Jackie Lacey said her husband was “profoundly sorry” to the protesters who he threatened with his handgun. Lacey said she’s tried to meet with members of the local Black Lives Matter chapter and that she’ll continue to do so.
She said her office has turned over the investigation to another agency because of her involvement and would not comment on the incident because she was not at the door with her husband.
“My husband and I are people of faith and we just trust God that he’s going to bring us through this challenge,” said Lacey.
Outside the Hall of Justice, members from the local Black Lives Matter expressed criticism that the husband’s apology was delivered to the media and not to them personally.
Abdullah said the group met outside Lacey’s home the day before election day to take up Lacey on her word to meet with constituents, including family members of victims of police violence, because Lacey offered to meet once in January 2018, but reneged on that offer. Abdullah said the group set up chairs on the sidewalk outside Lacey’s home and she along with two other Black Lives Matter members rang her doorbell.
“I thought naively perhaps that I could go to her door, ring her doorbell and invite her out. We thought maybe nobody will answer the door, but maybe, just maybe, that she’s running now and saying she’s progressive she’ll come and finally speak with us,” said Abdullah.
She heard someone come to the door and then the sound of what she thought was a gun being cocked. That’s when David Lacey pointed the handgun at the group, who say they’re now traumatized by the incident which was meant to be a chance for an elected official to address the shooting of unarmed people of color.
LAPD said they responded to complaints of a possible assault with a deadly weapon this morning and took a report. The robbery homicide division has taken over the investigation which is ongoing, a police spokesman said.