A judge said Tuesday that he would consider whether to allow former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey‘s husband to enter a diversion program for a misdemeanor case in which he is charged with pointing a gun out his door while ordering a group of Black Lives Matter protesters to leave the couple’s property.
Judge David W. Stuart ordered attorneys to return to the courtroom May 13, when he is set to announce whether David Allan Lacey, 67, can enroll in the program that would include 100 hours of community service, anger management and firearms safety courses and a ban on possession of firearms during the 12- to 18-month diversionary term.
One of the group’s members, Melina Abdullah, who is listed as one of the victims in the complaint, told the judge, “So, what I experienced at the hands of David Lacey was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life … He’s getting special treatment because he’s the husband of the former district attorney.”
Attorney Carl Douglas, who is representing Abdullah and the other two victims listed in the complaint, said protesters had been outside the Laceys’ house for 40 minutes before the run-in. “This is not a circumstance of a distraught husband protecting his family,” Douglas told the judge.
Lacey’s attorney said he needed time to discuss the proposed diversionary program with his client and noted that the gun is in the Los Angeles Police Department’s custody. Lacey — who was not in the courtroom Tuesday — was charged last August with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm by the California Attorney General’s Office involving the March 2, 2020, early morning run-in with demonstrators.
The protest occurred before sunrise. David Lacey was seen on video [see below] pointing a handgun out the front door of the couple’s home and ordering the protesters to leave the property. No arrests or injuries were reported. Protesters can be heard asking to see his wife, prompting him to again order the group off the property. Members of Black Lives Matter who took part in the protest immediately condemned David Lacey’s actions. Activist Jasmyne Cannick posted the video online and sent links to local media outlets.
Black Lives Matter repeatedly protested against Jackie Lacey, criticizing her for what they saw as a failure to hold law enforcement officers accountable for shootings of minority suspects, and accusing her of failing to meet with them to discuss the issue. Abdullah — who has said the protesters were off the Laceys’ porch in less than 60 seconds — insisted Lacey’s house was not off-limits given that the district attorney is a public official and BLM has never threatened her. On Twitter, Abdullah alleged David Lacey “pointed a gun at my chest and said ‘I will shoot you.”‘ She noted last year that the counts filed against him are “misdemeanors, but charges nonetheless.”
Jackie Lacey lost her bid for a third term as the county’s top prosecutor to former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. In a statement released by her re-election campaign last year, she said, “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. 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.”
Shortly after the charges were filed, David Lacey’s attorney, Samuel E. Tyre, said he and his client “are disappointed that the Attorney General’s Office felt that the conduct at issue amounted to criminal behavior.
“We disagree entirely with their assessment, but we have the utmost faith in the justice system, and we are confident that the correct result will be reached,” Tyre said in the statement last August. “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. We look forward to all relevant facts coming to light.”
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#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