The husband of former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey will not face jail time for pulling a handgun on Black Lives Matter protesters who showed up at the couple’s home uninvited last year.
On Thursday, an L.A. County Superior Court judge allowed David Lacey, 67, to enter a diversion program to resolve charges stemming from the predawn confrontation on March 2, 2020, the day before his wife was up for re-election in the primary.
Black Lives Matter members and allies gathered outside the Lacey’s house demanding a meeting with the then-district attorney over her unwillingness to prosecute police officers who had fatally shot civilians. They were chanting, banging on drums, and then rang the doorbell.
Partial video of the incident posted on social media showed David Lacey pointing a handgun outside the front door in the direction of the demonstrators, ordering them to leave his property, and threatening to discharge the weapon.
“Get off of my porch,” he said. “I will shoot you. Get off of my porch.”
Mr. Lacey told the protesters that he was calling the police, then went back inside his house and closed the door.
#BREAKING This morning Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled a gun out on Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife in front of their house. @BLMLA pic.twitter.com/wnCFMMvaWV
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) March 2, 2020
His wife did not garner more than 50% of the vote in the primary the next day and went on to lose to George Gascón in the general election in November.
David Lacey was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm.
The Los Angeles Times provides more details on the diversion arrangement:
Under the terms of the agreement approved by Superior Court Judge David Stuart, which was first reported by The Times last month, the criminal case against Lacey will be dismissed after he performs 100 hours of community service and attends anger management and gun safety classes. He also is barred from possessing a firearm for the duration of the agreement, which lasts 18months.
“We have a 67-year-old man who has otherwise led an exemplary and productive life,” said Stuart, adding that diversion was appropriate because Lacey has no criminal record and his alleged offense stemmed from a “unique, politically-charged situation that is unlikely to occur again.”
If Lacey had been convicted, each assault count carried a maximum of one year in county jail. The state attorney general’s office handled the case since Jackie Lacey was serving as L.A. County’s top prosecutor at the time of the incident.
“We maintain David’s innocence,” said Samuel E. Tyre, Lacey’s defense attorney, in a statement. “He was protecting his wife and family from protesters the night of the incident. This diversion allows David to avoid the risks of a jury trial. We are happy the judge and the attorney general agreed diversion was appropriate.”
Melina Abdullah, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter’s L.A. chapter who was listed as one of the victims of the complaint, spoke out against diversion at a hearing last month. According to the L.A. Daily News, Abdullah told the judge the incident “was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life” and said Lacey was “getting special treatment because he’s the husband of the former district attorney.”
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