Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who is up for re-election next year, recently spoke to an LGBT political group in trendy West Hollywood where she was ambushed by Black Lives Matter, allied activists, and families of people killed by police.
The protesters showed up at an October 28 meeting held by the L.A. chapter of the Stonewall Democratic Club. Lacey was first advertised to appear at the event as a “guest speaker.” However, the scheduled engagement evolved into an opportunity for the D.A. to respond to a motion presented for a membership vote that night. The resolution called upon Lacey “to take immediate actions to restore trust in her department.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lacey’s visit “was often marked by screams and tense exchanges.” She spent a full hour standing at a podium defending her job performance amid repeated disruptions from vocal critics who had stacked the room. Many called her out for her unwillingness to prosecute cops who fatally shot their loved ones. Some criticized her handling of the case against Democratic donor Ed Buck. Others claimed Lacey had refused to meet publicly with them for the past two years, justifying the surprise attack.
Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer for Black Lives Matter-L.A. (BLM-LA), told Lacey: “You’ve run from us … More than half of this audience is black people from South L.A., from Compton, from Inglewood, who had to come all the way out here for you to face us,” adding, “it’s racism that you come here and not to black communities.”
Abdullah went on to tell Lacey, who is African American, that she is “a black face on white supremacy.”
An editor for the Los Angeles Blade, which describes itself as “America’s LGBT News Source,” attended the meeting, writing:
Lacey came prepared to specifically respond to Stonewall’s Resolution but she seemed unprepared for the encounter with angry family members of young Black men shot by law enforcement officers who screamed their agony at her, trying to hold her accountable, trying to get her to listen to them, to commiserate, to share their pain then take action.
In some ways, the Stonewall meeting was reminiscent of the early days of ACT UP when dying protesters or their loved ones screamed at blank-faced government bureaucrats who blandly explained that medications take a very long time to develop.
While pleading her case, Lacey infuriated several audience members when she mispronounced the name of Gemmel Moore, the 26-year-old black sex worker who fatally overdosed in Buck’s home on July 27, 2017. She then defended her decision not to criminally charge Buck in his death, revealing that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department illegally searched a toolbox at the scene which contained all of the methamphetamine found on the property at the time, thereby rendering the evidence inadmissible.
Lacey remained at the podium as the Stonewall Dems overwhelmingly adopted the resolution by a show of cards. As she exited the room after the vote, Lacey was taunted with chants of “Bye Jackie 2020.”
The Daily Wire reached out to Lacey’s campaign consultants multiple times seeking comment on the ploy but did not receive a response.
BLM-LA posted on Facebook: “We were so encouraged by this act of solidarity that many of us, including the families, joined the Stonewall Democrats.”
Last Night @LADAOffice Lacey responded in person to @StonewallDemsLA's resolution to "restore trust." She lied in the faces of the families of those killed by police and @BLMLA.
Stonewall Dems strengthened the resolution and passed it with only one vote opposed. #ByeJackie2020 pic.twitter.com/EjC45cDZbl
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) October 29, 2019
Media strategist Jasmyne Cannick, a member of the Stonewall Dems who also led the drive demanding Buck’s prosecution, co-authored the resolution. She is among Lacey’s fiercest detractors, having accused the D.A. of “dereliction of duty.” Cannick and several other attendees posed for a photograph behind a Black Lives Matter banner to commemorate the occasion after the meeting concluded.
Lacey, a Democrat, is running for her third term as L.A. County’s top law enforcement official. Her most notable challenger is former San Francisco D.A. George Gascón, widely considered one of the most progressive prosecutors in the nation. Lacey has been endorsed by many prominent Democratic politicians, including U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, along with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. The primary election is on March 3, 2020.
Follow Jeffrey Cawood on Twitter@JeffreyCawood.