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DA Jackie Lacey Says Her Husband's Sorry For Pulling Gun On Protesters

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey talks during a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday. Lacey said she's sorry her husband pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters at couple's home. (Stefanie Dazio/AP)
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The confrontation between Black Lives Matter and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey nearly took a violent turn early Monday morning when her husband pulled a gun on protesters who showed up at her front door. Later, an emotional Lacey said her husband was "profoundly sorry," adding that he had reacted "in fear" because it was just the two of them at home "and we really didn't know what was about to happen."

In a video posted at 5:54 a.m. by Black Lives Matter L.A. co-founder Melina Abdullah, David Lacey says, "get off of my porch. I will shoot you," as Abdullah asks him to tell his wife that the protesters were there. "We're calling the police right now," he said, before going back inside the house.

Protesters can be heard in the background chanting, "Jackie Lacey will go."

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The LAPD sent officers to the home, but there were no arrests.

The incident comes the day before the March 3 primary; Lacey is seeking a third term against two reformist challengers, George Gascon and Rachel Rossi.

Abdullah told us that she and two other BLM members knocked on Lacey's door a little after 5:30 am. They had set out chairs on the sidewalk across from her house, although there was no meeting scheduled with the DA. Previous efforts to set up a meeting have foundered; Lacey has offered to meet one-on-one or in small groups, but BLM has insisted on a public meeting.

"I thought they'd probably ignore us rather than coming to the door," Abdullah said. "I thought there was an outside chance that she might actually come out, especially it being the day before election day, I thought maybe she would see this as an opportunity."

Abdullah said David Lacey pointed the gun at her chest, but she did not file a police report about the incident.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah speaks to reporters following a confrontation at District Attorney Jackie Lacey's home, where Lacey's husband pulled a gun on protesters who rang their doorbell in the early morning hours. (Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)

Black Lives Matter has clashed with Lacey for years; among other things, its members are angry that she's only prosecuted one law enforcement officer for an on-duty shooting of a civilian. BLM stages a weekly protest outside Lacey's office, and a number of activists disrupted the Jan. 29 DA candidates debate. The group demonstrated outside her home once before, in October 2018.

Lacey, at times fighting back tears, suggested that the ongoing dispute with BLM contributed to her husband's state of mind Monday morning.

"I have received threats, some of them death threats," she told a news conference.

"I have been followed, photographed with my family, confronted at an art museum, confronted at fundraisers, even at endorsement interviews, I've had people crash them and videotape them," Lacey said.

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The DA said her husband "wanted me to say to the protesters, to the person that he showed the gun to ... that he's profoundly sorry, that he meant no one any harm."

Lacey said she was unaware that her husband was going to answer the door while holding a gun.

"I too am sorry if anybody was harmed," she said. "It's never my intent to harm any protester."

The DA's office has turned the investigation of the incident "over to another agency, obviously because I'm involved," Lacey said.

At a news conference following Lacey's remarks, Abdullah was unapologetic about her group's tactics.

"If public officials won't have meetings, if they won't engage us when we come to their public events, what choice do we have?" she said. "Is a home off-limits to a public official? Absolutely not."

A spokesman for Gascon said he has no comment on the incident.

Rossi issued a statement in which she said, "whether or not showing up to an elected official's home to ask for a meeting is legal or condoned, we cannot forget how we got here." She blamed Lacey's "refusal to listen" to "marginalized communities."

Rossi went on: "As District Attorney, I will never run from the community. 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."


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1:45 p.m.: This article was updated with Abdullah's comments from her news conference.

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