Organizers for the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter filed a lawsuit on Monday against county District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her husband over his alleged pointing of a firearm at demonstrators outside the couple’s home earlier this year.
The lawsuit, filed by Civil rights attorney Carl Douglas, accuses the Laceys of assault, negligence, and inflicting emotional distress in connection with the March 2 incident.
On that day, BLM organizer Melina Abdullah, led a group of protesters outside the Laceys’ Granada Hills home before dawn. The demonstration was meant to put pressure on Lacey to follow through on a promise she made to meet with organizers who have criticized her for not prosecuting police officers involved in fatal shootings.
A video that was widely circulated online, shows David Lacey, a retired investigative auditor for the district attorney’s office, appearing to point a gun at demonstrators on his doorstep.
“Get off my porch. I will shoot you,” David Lacey can be heard saying. “I don’t care who you are. Get off of my porch.”
The 16-page lawsuit filed Monday criticizes his use of a firearm as “outrageously brazen and recklessly negligent,” the Los Angeles Times reported. It describes the “innocent” protesters as “lawfully visiting” the Lacey’s home, and simply wanting “the political candidate to follow through on promises she had made, yet neglected.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed charges against David Lacey in Los Angeles Superior Court for three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm.
In a statement to Fox News, Lacey said her husband acted in fear for her safety.
"The events that took place earlier this year have caused my family immense pain. My husband acted in fear for my safety after we were subjected to months of harassment that included a death threat no less than a week earlier," she said. "Protesters arrived at my house shortly after 5 a.m. while I was upstairs. My husband felt that we were in danger and acted out of genuine concern for our well being."
Monday's lawsuit comes amid Jackie Lacey seeking her third term in office. Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon is running to replace her.
The Laceys’ civil attorney Jeffrey Zinder has alleged that the lawsuit was deliberately filed close to the election as way to harm the incumbent’s reelection bid.
"This lawsuit was filed two weeks before an election and not at any time in the last 7 months because it is being put forward for transparently political purposes," Zinder told Fox News in an email. "If there was merit in this lawsuit or if it was being offered sincerely, it would have been filed at some point prior to today."
Douglas has disputed Zinder’s assertions, saying that the lawsuit is meant to bring attention to the district attorney’s decision-making before the election.
“I am trying to do what I can on behalf of L.A. County, and I represent three political activists,” he said. “So there are dual challenges that I’m facing.”
Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.