Christal Mims, Staff
Black Lives Matter activists have filed a civil lawsuit against L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her husband David Lacey following an incident in which David pointed a gun at three members of the group during a peaceful protest on March 2. Joined by attorneys Carl Douglas and Jamon Hicks, activists Melina Abdullah, Dahlia Ferlito and Justin Marks announced the lawsuit during a press conference on Zoom today.
“This is a case about the reckless use of deadly force and the shocking consequences to three peaceful protesters,” Douglas said.
Abdullah, Ferlito and Marks walked to the doorstep of Lacey’s Granada Hills residence after gathering and leading a demonstration with protesters. David Lacey then opened the door, pulled out a gun and allegedly said, “Get off my porch. I will shoot you.”
Attorney General Xavier Bercerra filed three misdemeanor charges against David Lacey back in August for assault with a firearm.
“When that gun was pointed at me, the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘What about my children?’ I was grateful that we had prayed. I was grateful that we had meditated and poured libations because it allowed me, when he said, ‘Get off the porch’ and pointed the gun at my chest, it allowed me to summon spiritual energy and a sense of calm that allowed me to just say, ‘Good morning’ in the friendliest and most chipper way I could muster and it allowed me to not panic,” Abdullah recalled.
Ferlito, the co-founder of White People for Black Lives, also chimed in, saying the incident did not occur in a volume.
“It’s really important for the audience to understand that this is part of many years attempting to use existing channels to have the voices of the families heard and responded to and respected, as well as action, on the part of the district attorney’s office,” Ferlito explained. “Unfortunately, those regular channels that are afforded to the community members who are outright ignored, dismissed, denied … We were silenced for those several years.”
The plaintiffs went to Lacey’s house in an attempt to confront her regarding a promise she had made to meet with the Black community before the end of 2019 during a meeting of the Stonewall Democratic Club in October 2019.
The lawsuit alleges negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and battery.
“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 lawsuit reads. “As a result of this shamefully reckless act, each of the Plaintiffs’ lives was put in dire risk.”
Marks, who was filming the incident, credits Abdullah’s composure and ability to stay calm in the moment for their lives – but admits the incident stunned him.
“I was scared. I was shocked. Not anything that we expected, not in a million years,” Marks said. “It seems unreasonable to open a door and to point a loaded weapon.
He continued, “It felt as though Jackie Lacey and her husband were pointing the gun, not just at the three of us, but at the 622 families who have family members who have been killed by law enforcement since she’s been in office. She pointed a gun at the 10s of thousands of people who have showed up at her office for the last few years. That’s not democracy.”
Lacey’s civil attorney has already responded, questioning the timing of the lawsuit and accusing the activists of making the incident political. Douglas believes the case is undeniably relevant to the election.
“This is a public official, and this horrific case speaks to her judgement and I think speaks to her fitness to serve the people of Los Angeles for another four years,” he explained. “It’s hard being a public official. But it is a job that she seeks, it is a job that she wants.”
Lacey is currently up against former district attorney of San Francisco George Gascon for the position of L.A. County district attorney.