Los Angeles, CA – Three Black Lives Matter protesters who showed up on Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s doorstep before dawn in March to demand she meet with them have filed a lawsuit against her and her husband because he pulled a gun on them during the incident.
The trio accused Jackie Lacey and her husband, David Lacey, of negligence, assault, and infliction of emotional distress as a result of the March 2 confrontation.
The district attorney apologized to the community after the incident and said her husband had reacted out of 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,” she said at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Jackie Lacey said she was upstairs when the Black Lives Matter protesters showed up at her house just after 5 a.m. on March 2.
Abdullah led the mob of over 40 demonstrators to the district attorney’s home, the Los Angeles Times reported.
After chanting out on the street, Abdullah, Marks, and Ferlito walked up to the Laceys’ front door and rang the doorbell.
That’s when David Lacey, a retired investigative auditor for the district attorney’s office, opened the door 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.
The California Attorney General’s Office reviewed the March 2 incident and ultimately charged David Lacey with three counts of misdemeanor assault, according to the Los Angeles Times.
His next court hearing is scheduled for December.
Jeffrey Zinder, the couple’s civil attorney, alleged that the Black Lives Matter protesters chose to file the lawsuit now in an effort to hurt Jackie Lacey’s reelection campaign.
“This lawsuit was filed two weeks before an election and not at any time in the last 7 months because it is being put forward for transparently political purposes,” Zinder told the Los Angeles Times in an e-mail. “If there was merit in this lawsuit or if it was being offered sincerely, it would have been filed at some point prior to today.”
Civil rights attorney Carl Douglas, who is representing Abdullah, Marks, and Ferlito, called the case “horrific,” and said it was important that voters be aware of Jackie Lacey’s decision-making abilities ahead of the election.
“This is a public official and this horrific case speaks to her judgment, and I think speaks to her fitness to serve the people of Los Angeles another four years,” Douglas told the Los Angeles Times. “So I, as the lawyer, made the decision to file this case now.”
“This lawsuit concerns the outrageously brazen and recklessly negligent use of a registered firearm by Defendant David Lacey, the husband of the Los Angeles District Attorney, against innocent protesters who were lawfully visiting their home and simply wanted the political candidate to follow through on promises she had made, yet neglected,” the lawsuit filed on Monday read, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The plaintiffs also argued that the couple had dealt with Abdullah and Black Lives Matter in the past, so they should have known that they weren’t carrying weapons and didn’t pose a threat, according to the lawsuit.
“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.”
Jackie 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.
Ferlito said the group was upset because Jackie Lacey has repeatedly refused to criminally charge law enforcement officers who have been involved in use-of-force incidents, the Los Angeles Times reported.
She claimed that Jackie Lacey left demonstrators with no choice but to show up at her home before daybreak.
“We wanted to have our voices heard to a political figure who has chosen to disregard her constituency,” Ferlito told the Los Angeles Times. “So, when we have no other methods because all other methods have failed, we had to bring attention to her doorstep.”