A man who fired a gun as protesters demonstrated last summer outside San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s home was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and ordered to spend six months in custody.
Lonnie James Crawford, 38, pleaded guilty to a felony count of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner for firing at least one round in the air on Aug. 30, 2021, while a group of protesters were demonstrating outside Gloria’s home to protest the city’s homelessness policies.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Crawford drove his truck through the crowd of demonstrators, got into a verbal argument with the protesters, then entered an apartment building in the area. He later came out with a gun and fired at least one shot, though no one was struck by the gunfire.
Prosecutors filed charges against Crawford in January.
Local activist Tasha Williamson, who was at the Aug. 30 protest, said at Crawford’s sentencing hearing that after driving through the crowd, he told protesters, “Wait right here, I have something for you,” then went into his apartment.
When he emerged with the gun, she said he threatened to shoot the protesters in the face.
After the hearing, Williamson decried how the case was handled, calling it an example of racial bias that favored Crawford, who is white.
“I would have liked for them to charge him the way they charge Black and brown men every day in this court building,” she said.