OAKLAND, Calif. — Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed charges against the husband of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey in connection with the March incident in which he allegedly pulled a gun on Black Lives Matter protesters at the couple’s home, according to a charging document obtained by POLITICO.
David Lacey was charged Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm regarding the March 2 incident, according to documents filed by Becerra’s office.
The charges come as Jackie Lacey, the county’s first Black district attorney, faces a tough fight with George Gascón, a Latino who previously served as San Francisco DA, to retain her seat in the nation’s second largest city. She has faced scrutiny from criminal justice activists who have cited her refusal to prosecute police officers who kill civilians and other tough-on-crime strategies — an opposition effort that has gained further steam this summer amid racial justice protests.
David Lacey’s attorney, Samuel E. Tyre, said in a statement Tuesday that his client is not commenting 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.”
The matter came to public attention with a video tweeted by Melina Abdullah, a Pan-African Studies professor at California State University, Los Angeles who helped found the LA chapter of Black Lives Matter.
She said she and other Black Lives Matter activists knocked at the front door of the Laceys’ home to speak to the DA. But David Lacey answered the door and “pulled a gun and pointed it at my chest,” Abdullah tweeted. Appearing to have his finger on the trigger, he is shown in her video saying, “Get off of my porch … I’ll shoot you, I don’t care who you are.”
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said officers investigated a “possible assault with a deadly weapon” after they received a call for a disturbance.
Jackie Lacey said in a statement Tuesday, “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 am while I was upstairs. My husband felt that we were in danger and acted out of genuine concern for our well being.”
Some leading politicians, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), have rescinded their endorsements of Lacey in recent weeks, with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum this summer after leading demonstrations against the the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who endorsed Lacey, has said he is reconsidering his support for her. Gascón also has won the endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Maxine Waters.