U.S. News

Top Los Angeles prosecutor apologizes after husband points gun at Black Lives Matter activists

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey delivered an emotional apology on behalf of her husband on Monday, hours after he pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the couple’s home and threatened to shoot them.

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles City Hall is shown in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The confrontation, captured on videotape by the activists, came a day before Lacey, the county’s first African-American top prosecutor, faces off against two challengers in the Democratic primary. Black Lives Matter believes she has been too lenient on police officers in excessive-force cases.

“My husband, I spoke to him just before I came here. His response was in fear and now that he realizes what happened, he wanted me to say to the protesters, the person that he showed the gun to, that he was sorry,” Lacey, 63, told a morning news conference.

“He’s profoundly sorry. He meant no one any harm. It was just him and I in that house and we really didn’t know what was about to happen,” Lacey said of her husband, David.

In the videotape, posted to Twitter by Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdullah, David Lacey is seen standing in the doorway of his home, pointing a large handgun and repeatedly telling people off camera: “Off my porch.”

At one point during the 45-second tape, he is heard to say: “I will shoot you.”

Abdullah said on Twitter that David Lacey pointed the gun at her chest when he made the threat.

Jackie Lacey, a career prosecutor, criticized Black Lives Matter activists for demonstrating outside the couple’s home, a move she considers out of bounds.

“We expect that people will exercise their First Amendment rights,” she said in reference to the constitutional protection of free speech and assembly. “But our home is our sanctuary and we do not believe, 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 said.

The District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement that the Los Angeles Police department would investigate the incident and “if appropriate bring to an independent prosecutor’s office for review.”

Lacey said during her news conference that she had in the past offered to meet with Black Lives Matter activists face-to-face but had been turned down.

“I too am sorry if anybody was harmed. It’s never my intent to harm any protester. I just want to live in peace and do my job,” she said.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney