Criminal Justice

As voters head to polls, DA apologizes for husband’s pointing of gun at protesters

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A day before voters headed to the polls to decide whether the Los Angeles district attorney would keep her job, she said her husband was “profoundly sorry” for pointing a gun at protesters who came to their home.

On Monday, protesters with the local chapter of Black Lives Matter rang Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s doorbell and asked to speak with her. A video posted to Twitter shows her husband, David, standing at the door with a gun and warning protesters: “I will shoot you. Get off of my porch.”

The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Courthouse News Service, the Los Angeles Daily News, BuzzFeed News and the Hill have coverage.

At a press conference after the incident, Lacey said she and her husband heard people outside their home around 5:30 a.m. and thought they were protesters, Courthouse News Service reports. While she was upstairs, her husband grabbed his gun and ran to the door.

She apologized on behalf of her husband—a former investigative auditor for the district attorney’s office—and said he reacted out of fear, the Los Angeles Times reports. She also said she has offered to meet with representatives from Black Lives Matter, who have staged weekly protests outside her office to demand justice for the people shot and killed by police.

Lacey’s office has only filed charges against one officer who was involved in a fatal shooting since she took office in 2012, according to Courthouse News Service.

Lacey said protesters have also continued to picket at her home and harass her at public events.

“All of this because I chose to do my job,” Lacey said at the press conference. “I’m a human being. I’m a public servant. I dedicated my life to the profession that stands up for the victims of violent crime, and I’m not ashamed of that. I’m not sorry that I’m doing that.”

Black Lives Matter representatives said during their own press conference that Lacey has refused to meet with them, and their members were traumatized by the incident. According to USA Today, organizer Melina Abdullah told the television station KTTV that “her husband met us at the door with a gun.”

“We heard him cock it, he pointed the gun as he opened the door and then when he saw me, he pointed the gun directly at my chest,” Abdullah said.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident, a spokesman for the agency has said. Lacey also said the California attorney general’s office would handle any potential prosecution.

She is the first woman and first black person elected to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, according to Courthouse News Service. She faces tough competition in Tuesday’s election from former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and former Los Angeles County public defender Rachel Rossi.

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