Black Lives Matter protesters say the husband of the Los Angeles County district attorney pointed a gun at them and threatened to open fire before sunrise Monday as they demanded a meeting with her at her home.
Authorities have not confirmed the activists’ account regarding the events at the home of District Attorney Jackie Lacey. In a video posted by Black Lives Matter organizer Melina Abdullah, a man pointing a black handgun opens the door and says: ‘Get off. Get off of my porch.’
The encounter came a day before a primary for district attorney; Lacey is seeking a third term.
Lacey, the first black woman to lead the country’s largest local prosecutor’s office, has clashed repeatedly with Black Lives Matter protesters, who have picketed her office weekly for the past two years. They say she is too protective of law enforcement and doesn’t prosecute officers who fatally shoot suspects.
Abdullah, professor of pan-African studies at Cal State LA, told KTTV the protesters rang Lacey’s doorbell to meet with her.
‘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 Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that officers were called to a Granada Hills home around 5.40am regarding about 50 protesters outside a home, Officer Lizeth Lomeli said.
Lomeli said there have not been any arrests but police did not immediately confirm the report of a man brandishing a gun.
In the video, a woman off-camera says: ‘Good morning. Are you going to shoot me?’
The man, identified by Cannick 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.’
Lacey addressed the gun incident during a news conference late Monday morning, saying she and David were awakened by the couple dozen protesters picketing their home before dawn.
She said her husband was afraid for their safety and is ‘profoundly sorry’ for his response to the presence of protesters on their doorstep, reported LA Times.
‘Our home is our sanctuary,’ she said. ‘I do not believe it is fair or right for protesters to show up at the homes of people who dedicate their lives to public service.’
Lacey, a two-term incumbent, is facing George Gascon, the former San Francisco DA, and former public defender Rachel Rossi.
The race is nonpartisan and will be decided if one of the candidates receives more than half the primary votes on Tuesday. If no one achieves a majority, the top two will face off in November.
Gascon’s campaign did not immediately comment Monday, but he previously accused Lacey of being overly protective of law enforcement and putting too many people of color behind bars.
Rossi, whose spokeswoman Jasmyne Cannick also posted the video on Twitter, criticized Lacey’s reluctance to meet with the protesters.
‘As District Attorney, I will never run from the community,’ Rossi said in a statement Monday. ‘And I never thought I’d have to say it, but I will also never threaten to shoot – or have others threaten to shoot – community members protesting my actions.’
Cannick speculated in a tweet that the standoff at Lacey’s home could easily have turned deadly.
‘What if someone got nervous at the sight of a gun in their face and dropped their cellphone or something else that made a loud noise that then triggered Mr. Lacey’s finger causing him to shoot someone for no reason? There are so many reasons that his actions are just wrong,’ she wrote.
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SOURCE: Associated Press; Mail Online – Snejana Farberov