Organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement are suing Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her husband in connection to an incident in which the prosecutor’s spouse pointed a gun at protesters picketing their home.
Activists Melinda Abdullah, Dahlia Ferlito and Justin Marks on Monday filed a civil lawsuit against Jackie and David Lacey, claiming assault, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from the March confrontation, which was caught of video.
‘This lawsuit concerns the outrageously brazen and recklessly negligent use of a registered firearm by Defendant David Lacey, the husband of the Los Angeles District Attorney, against innocent protesters who were lawfully visiting their home and simply wanted the political candidate to follow through on promises she had made, yet neglected,’ the 16-page complaint first cited by the LA Times alleges.
Scroll down for video
Black Lives Matter organizers on Monday filed a civil lawsuit against Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her husband, David (pictured) over an incident involving a gun
David, 66, was caught on video yelling at Black Lives Matter protesters and training his gun on them. Lacey’s campaign issued a statement saying her husband thought they were in danger
Abdullah, professor of pan-African studies at Cal State LA, said a group of 30-40 protesters rang Lacey’s doorbell before dawn on March 2 seeking to meet with her.
The unarmed demonstrators chanted slogans and prayed before Abdullah, Ferlito and Marks approached the Laceys’ home.
‘Her husband met us at the door with a gun,’ Abdullah told KTTV. ‘We heard him cock it, he pointed the gun as he opened the door and then when he saw me, he pointed the gun directly at my chest.’
The 16-page complaint argues that the Lacey couple were familiar with BLM organizer Melinda Abdullah (pictured), who has been leading protests against the DA for three years, and they should have known she posed no threat
In the video, a woman off-camera says: ‘Good morning. Are you going to shoot me?’
The man, identified as David Lacey, says: ‘I will shoot you. Get off of my porch.’
The woman responds: ‘Can you tell Jackie Lacey that we’re here?’
The man says: ‘I don’t care who you are, get off of my porch right now. We’re calling the police right now.’
The BLM organizers’ lawsuit argues that the district attorney and her husband were familiar with Abdullah and the other protesters, and should have known they were unarmed, non-violent and posed no threat.
Lacey, the first black person and first woman to run what is the nation’s largest local prosecutor’s office, has been targeted for nearly three years by Black Lives Matter protesters, who have held weekly demonstrations outside her office calling for her ouster.
In early August, the California state attorney general filed three misdemeanor charges against David Lacey for assault with a firearm.
In a CNN interview in July, Lacey said protesters crossed a line when they showed up on her doorstep
Lacey’s campaign issued a statement the following day, saying her husband thought they were in danger and was trying to protect them.
‘The events that took place earlier this year have caused my family immense pain,’ Lacey said in the statement. ‘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.’
Earlier this month, the Laceys’ legal team filed a motion seeking to have the charges against David dismissed, arguing that the attorney general did not have jurisdiction, but the judge allowed the case to go forward. David Lacey is scheduled to appear in court in December.
Lacey offered a tearful apology in the immediate aftermath of the incident in March, saying she and her husband were awoken by the protest and were frightened.
But during in an interview on CNN in July, she criticized activists for showing up on her doorstep.
Protesters attend a ‘Jackie Lacey Must Go’ protest organized by Black Lives Matter in front of the Hall Of Justice on September 30
‘I definitely don’t think you should be able to come onto someone’s property,’ she said to the BLM protesters. ‘That crosses a line.’
The protests against Lacey were once small, but have numbered in the hundreds and thousands after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
Protesters claim Lacey has failed to hold law enforcement accountable in fatal shootings. She has charged one officer in a fatal on-duty killing, but has declined to file charges in more than 340 other fatal shootings.
Lacey faces a runoff in November for her third term. She is being challenged by former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, a longtime police officer and former chief who vows to reform the office.