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Case dismissed against former D.A. Jackie Lacey’s husband, who pointed gun at protesters outside home

Jackie Lacey and her husband walk while holding hands
A misdemeanor firearms case against David Lacey, shown in 2020 with then-Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, has been dismissed, his attorney said.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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A misdemeanor firearms case against the husband of former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey has been dismissed, his attorney said Tuesday, after he finished a diversion program to resolve charges that he had aimed a gun at three unarmed protesters in March 2020.

The criminal case against David Lacey was set to be dismissed after he performed 100 hours of community service and attended anger management and gun safety classes, according to the terms of the agreement approved by Superior Court Judge David Stuart last year. He was also barred from possessing a firearm for the duration of the agreement, which was slated to last 18 months.

But the case was dismissed early after Lacey completed the program’s terms, his attorney, Samuel Tyre, told City News Service.

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Tyre did not reply to a phone call or emails from The Times requesting confirmation and comment.

“David is happy this matter is behind him,” Tyre told City News Service.

Jackie Lacey’s husband will enter diversion program after facing assault charges for pointing a handgun at unarmed protesters outside his home.

May 13, 2021

Lacey was charged with three counts of assault in August 2020, about five months after he opened the door to his family’s Granada Hills home with a handgun aimed at the demonstrators, who rang his doorbell as part of a predawn protest against his wife.

The state attorney general’s office handled the case because Jackie Lacey was serving as L.A. County’s top prosecutor at the time of the incident.

“We have a 67-year-old man who has otherwise led an exemplary and productive life,” Stuart said during a May 2021 hearing, adding that diversion was appropriate because Lacey had no criminal record and his alleged offense stemmed from a “unique, politically charged situation that is unlikely to occur again.”

Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter and one of the people held at gunpoint by Lacey in 2020, previously decried the arrangement as too lenient and called on the judge to bar Lacey from possessing firearms.

She has also said Lacey was being handled with “kid gloves” and argued a defendant without his political connections might have faced felony charges.

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Outcry followed professor Melina Abdullah’s forced removal from a mayoral debate at Cal State Los Angeles earlier this month.

May 10, 2022

Tyre said last year that the diversion agreement allowed his client to avoid the “risk of a jury disagreeing with our position” even though he did not believe Lacey did anything wrong.

“He’s never been as much as arrested before this case,” Tyre said. “This is an absolutely appropriate and fair disposition.”

In March 2020, Abdullah was leading a group of about 30 protesters angry about Jackie Lacey’s repeated failure to meet with Black activists who had challenged her record of rarely prosecuting law enforcement officers in the shooting deaths of unarmed men and women.

She and two other protesters approached the family’s front door.

Video taken at the scene shows David Lacey answering the door with a handgun pointed in the direction of the protesters.

“I will shoot you,” he says in response to a question from Abdullah, with his finger on the weapon’s trigger.

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Los Angeles police were soon called to the scene. Jackie Lacey held a news conference later in the day where she apologized for her husband’s actions but also noted the incident followed a series of threats made against her as she sought a third term in office.

One of the threats was serious enough that it was referred to the Long Beach Police Department for further investigation, but no charges were filed.

The incident happened one day before the Democratic primary in a contentious district attorney’s race.

Jackie Lacey was unable to hit the 50%-plus-one-vote threshold she needed to win the primary outright and ended up losing to former San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascón in the November 2020 general election.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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