While Black Lives Matter was widely credited with leading efforts to oust the top law enforcement official in Los Angeles County in November 2020, friction from the campaign continues in the court system.
The Los Angeles Times reports, “the husband of former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey is seeking entry into a diversion program that would allow him to avoid jail time after he was caught on video pointing a gun at protesters last year, according to an attorney for one of the protesters.”
According to the Times, David Lacey “was charged with three counts of assault with a firearm after he pointed the weapon at three protesters – including one of Los Angeles’ most visible Black Lives Matter activists, Melina Abdullah – who were demonstrating outside of the then-district attorney’s home in March 2020.”
#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
Abdullah is represented pro bono by Carl Douglas, a protégé of the late Johnnie Cochran who became famous decades ago as a member of O.J. Simpson’s “Dream Team” of defense attorneys.
The Times reports that Douglas was notified of Lacey’s request this week, which an L.A. County Superior Court judge will consider at a hearing on Tuesday, April 13. Douglas told the outlet that a diversion program would last at least 18 months and require Mr. Lacey to perform community service, and enroll in an anger management class, as well as a course on gun safety.
The California attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case, and Lacey would face a maximum of one year in jail for each assault charge if convicted, the Times reported.
According to the Times, “Douglas said he was furious that the terms of the diversion request did not require David Lacey to give up possession of any firearms he owns, including the one he pointed at Abdullah.” Both Douglas and Abdullah plan to ask the judge to prohibit Lacey from possessing a gun at the upcoming hearing.
“That was my chest he pointed the gun at,” Abdullah tweeted on Friday afternoon. “Diversion?!?? Anger management?!?? Can you imagine what he would have been facing if his wife wasn’t the DA at the time and the system weren’t protecting them?”
That was my chest he pointed the gun at. Diversion?!?? Anger management?!?? Can you imagine what he would have been facing if his wife wasn’t the DA at the time and the system weren’t protecting them?
Hearing is Tuesday, 4/13 9am, San Fernando Courthouse. #NoSpecialTreatment https://t.co/l2UAYzP9CH
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) April 9, 2021
“He has sacrificed the privilege of carrying that firearm by the reckless decisions he made on March 2,” Douglas told the Times.
Along with dozens of BLM organizers and allies, Abdullah showed up at the Laceys’ front door before dawn on that day. At least one demonstrator had been banging on a drum. They were there demanding a meeting about officer-involved shootings because then-D.A. Lacey had refused to engage with the activists on their terms.
More from the L.A. Times:
Abdullah, Justin Marks and Dahlia Ferlito rang the Laceys’ doorbell around 6 a.m. Video taken at the scene shows David Lacey answering the door with a handgun pointed in the direction of the protesters, his finger on the trigger. After announcing “I will shoot you,” in response to a question from Abdullah, David Lacey closed the door and contacted Los Angeles police.
The clash came on the eve of a contentious primary as Jackie Lacey sought a third term as L.A. County’s top prosecutor. The Laceys said they had received numerous death threats during the campaign, one of them prompting an investigation by the Long Beach Police Department. A demonstrator also tried to rush the stage during a primary debate between Lacey and her two challengers. …
Under California law, David Lacey could have been prohibited from owning a firearm for a decade if convicted of the assault charges.
Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón defeated Ms. Lacey in November. Abdullah and other Black Lives Matter members and allies have pledged their support to the region’s new top prosecutor. Gascón immediately instituted a series of controversial directives on his first day on the job, sparking a backlash from law enforcement groups, victims of violent crime, and generated support for a recall effort.
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