Friday, August 7, 2020
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Former Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley yesterday derided the decision by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to prosecute David Lacey—husband of Cooley’s successor as the county’s chief prosecutor, Jackie Lacey—on three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm.
The defendant on March 2 pulled a gun when some of the Black Lives Matter protesters who had gathered outside the Lacey home in pre-dawn hours came to the doorstep demanding to see the district attorney.
Members of the movement have faulted her for declining to prosecute police officers in connection with fatal shootings where her staff concluded, and she agreed, that criminal liability could not be established.
Cooley, who served as district attorney from 2000 to 2012, told the METNEWS that he would have rejected the case against David Lacey “in a heartbeat, as any competent prosecutor would have.”
He said that self defense and defense of another “are the defenses when an unknown threat confronts a person in the middle of the night” at the person’s home, “especially” when the person being defended “has been subjected to assaults and death threats,” as the district attorney has.
Cooley, who is now in private practice, commented:
“My gut tells me there is something else going on here.”
There has been speculation that Becerra, a Democrat, acted to cause embarassment to Jackie Lacey, who is facing an election challenge from former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. Although the county office is a nonpartisan one and Lacey is a Democrat, Gascón has been running as “Democrat for Los Angeles District Attorney” and is endorsed by the California Democratic Party, the County Democratic Central Comnmittee, and numerous Democratic clubs.
Becerra is not listed by Gascón as among his endorsers.
Conservative commentator Andrea Widburg has asserted that Becerra’s move “is manifestly political insofar as Lacey is facing a stiff election for being too hard on criminals and too soft on police officers.”
Although the district attorney apologized in the immediate aftermath of the incident, she later said of the conduct of the three persons who came to her door, in an interview with CNN:
“I definitely don’t think you should be able to come onto someone’s property. That crosses a line.”
David Lacey, 66, is charged with three counts of violating Sec245(a)(2) which provides:
“Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than six months and not exceeding one year, or by both a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and imprisonment.”
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