Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has revoked his endorsement of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who is seeking a third term, amidst a simmering pressure campaign to oust her in November for failing to prosecute a sufficient number of police officers.
“This is a rare time in our nation’s history,” tweeted Schiff, in a coordinated statement with California Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “We have a responsibility to make profound changes to end systemic racism [and] reform criminal justice.”
“[We] no longer feel our endorsement of Jackie Lacey a year ago has the same meaning,” said Schiff. “We have decided to withdraw it.”
This is a rare time in our nation’s history. We have a responsibility to make profound changes to end systemic racism & reform criminal justice.@LauraFriedman43 and I no longer feel our endorsement of Jackie Lacey a year ago has the same meaning. We have decided to withdraw it.
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) June 20, 2020
Lacey, who is the county’s first African American to serve as district attorney, has long been a target of Black Lives Matter activists, even before the national unrest over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. That said, Lacey told the Los Angeles Times in a statement, following Schiff’s decision to revoke his endorsement, that she was prepared to defend her prosecutorial record.
“As the first African American woman to hold the L.A. County D.A.’s office, I am proud of my record of taking on systemic racism and reforming criminal justice – from bail reform, to reducing juvenile cases by nearly 50%, to increasing our office’s focus on mental health treatment instead of incarceration,” said Lacey. “I am singularly focused on doing the work of the people of L.A. County during this time of crisis.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who endorsed Lacey nearly 18 months ago, also distanced himself from the district attorney. Unlike Schiff, the mayor reportedly didn’t actually contact her office before he appeared to walk back his endorsement and bring up the respect he has for her opponent.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for George Gascon too. I’ve served alongside him, it was before he entered the race – my endorsement was with Ms. Lacey,” said Garcetti.
Breaking: Today on “The Briefing,” @MayorofLA Eric Garcetti was asked about his past endorsement of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and whether, as host @matthewferner asked, it’s time for a change in the office. Garcetti replied, “It may be.” pic.twitter.com/JFgIDeLJlx
— The Appeal (@theappeal) June 12, 2020
In March, Lacey won nearly 49% of the vote, but was shy of the 50% majority she needed to avoid a run-off election in November, reports CBS News. The election was held a day after David Lacey, her husband, pulled a gun on a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who gathered outside the couple’s home early in the morning with the alleged intention of wanting to speak with the district attorney.
A portion of the incident, which Lacey’s husband later apologized for, was posted to Twitter:
#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
Lacey says that she has tried to meet with Black Lives Matter activists, but that they seem to only want to humiliate her. According to the Los Angeles Times, protesters once again gathered outside Lacey’s home on Saturday, the same day Schiff pulled his endorsement.
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