Former prosecutor contests second testimony requested by attorneys representing BLM activists


LOS ANGELES — Protesters for Black Lives Matter attorneys who were confronted at gunpoint by the late husband of former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey in 2020 at the Laceys’ Granada Hills home will not be entitled to a second deposition from the former chief District Attorney. Lacey’s lawyers argue in new court filings.

BLM attorneys allege that Lacey, on instructions from her attorney, erroneously refused to answer some questions based on spousal communications privilege during her initial testimony. They contend that a felony fraud exception to the privilege applies when a communication is made, in whole or in part, to enable or assist someone to commit or plan a crime or fraud.

But in court filings filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, Lacey’s attorneys say none of the filing questions challenged by Lacey’s attorney were directed to statements Lacey allegedly made to enable or help her spouse, David Lacey, have a to commit or plan crimes

“Rather, the questions Ms. Lacey was asked related to confidential communications with the spouse on issues such as whether Mr. Lacey raised concerns about his safety or remorse for his conduct, firearms and firearms safety unrelated to the incident, and conduct or statements made after the incident had already occurred,” Lacey’s attorneys note in their court filings.

During her testimony, Lacey stated that she was upstairs and out of sight of her front door throughout the incident, Lacey’s attorneys state in their court filings.

“In response to numerous questions, she confirmed that she had no knowledge of or involvement in the interaction on her porch between her husband and the protesters,” Lacey’s attorneys explain in their court filings.

READ :  Lawyer attack case: High Court condemns Goa police for failing to arrest suspects | Goa News

Lacey’s attorneys further note in their court filings that the plaintiffs do not allege that Lacey came to the front door or was present during the interaction.

“Rather, Plaintiffs allege…that Mrs. Lacey supported and supported Mr. Lacey’s decision to cock the pistol, load it, and then point it directly at Plaintiffs,” and that both Laceys negligently failed to access their Ring app to see where they saw the visitors were “just unarmed peaceful protesters,” Lacey’s attorneys note in their court filings.

The lawsuit also alleges false imprisonment by 65-year-old Lacey. The confrontation occurred when members of the group showed up at the couple’s home on the morning of March 2, 2020.

Melina Abdullah, Dahlia Ferlito and Justin Marks filed the complaint with the Laceys in October 2020, claiming they suffered emotional distress from the incident.

In their Dec. 14 court filings, attorneys for the BLM protesters say the Laceys were aware the protesters were there to confront them and not their husband. Jackie Lacey knew, or should have known, that it was unlawful to confront uninvited guests on her front door with a loaded gun, BLM attorneys note in their court filings.

“Certainly neither Mr. Lacey nor Ms. Lacey believe they have the right to confront and threaten these uninvited visitors with a loaded firearm,” the BLM attorneys note in their court filings. “And in doing so, it is reasonable that Mr and Mrs Lacey communicated about who would confront the protesters, how they would be confronted and what they would do after the confrontation. All of these communications are relevant, unprivileged and necessary to show that Mrs Lacey feels compliant and whether she assisted and supported her husband in attacking the plaintiffs.”

READ :  Meet the Democratic candidates running for mayor in Philadelphia

For several years, protesters, including members of Black Lives Matter, gathered sometimes in the hundreds every Wednesday outside the Hall of Justice, where Lacey’s office was located, to protest Lacey, she says, adding they were armed with signs, noise amplifiers and Drums and chanted slogans like “Bye, Jackie” and “Jackie Lacey Must Go”.

A hearing on the BLM protester’s motion to compel Lacey’s second testimony is scheduled for Jan. 6 before Judge Theresa M. Traber. The BLM attorneys have also filed separate court filings to replace the estate of Lacey’s husband, David Lacey, as the defendant. David Lacey died on September 5th.

Plaintiff Abdullah is a professor and former chair of the Department of Pan-African Studies at Cal State Los Angeles and co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter. She and other BLM protesters went to the Laceys’ home to confront them for allegedly refusing to meet with them to discuss matters of common interest.

In her affidavit, parts of which are attached to Lacey’s court filings, Abdullah says that “everyone was stunned” after David Lacey pointed the gun at them.

“Well, I don’t remember what everyone else was doing,” says Abdullah. “I just remember some of what I did. But when a gun was pulled on me and I was told, ‘I’ll shoot you, I don’t care who you are,’ kind of threw me off.”

Lacey has been criticized by Abdullah and other activists for refusing during her two terms to prosecute some law enforcement officers involved in fatal shootings on duty.

David Lacey answered the door after the plaintiffs rang the bell, and video footage shows him aiming a gun and saying he would shoot if visitors didn’t come from his porch.

READ :  The ex-lawyer helping billionaires shed their wealth

The encounter came a day before Lacey — the first woman and first black woman to hold the top job since the bureau’s founding in 1850 — was forced into a runoff with former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who eventually was chosen.

David Lacey was indicted by the California Attorney General’s Office on three counts of assault with a firearm, but in May 2021 San Fernando Superior Court Justice David Stuart allowed him to participate in an 18-month diversionary program to solve the case and noted that this was a “67-year-old man who has lived an otherwise exemplary, productive life.”

The judge also noted that there was a “unique politically charged situation that is unlikely to be repeated.”

The misdemeanor case against David Lacey was dismissed in May.