Jackie Lacey lawyers ask for mental evaluation of BLM protesters
Attorneys for former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey want a judge to order three Black Lives Matter demonstrators confronted at gunpoint by Lacey’s late husband in 2020 to undergo independent mental evaluations given that they claim they suffered psychological issues from the incident at the Laceys’ San Fernando Valley home.
“Despite seeking solely emotional distress damages in this lawsuit and refusing to provide their medical records for treatment obtained as a result of the incident at issue, plaintiffs refuse to allow Independent medical examinations of their mental condition,” Lacey’s lawyers state in their court papers brought Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Melina Abdullah, Dahlia Ferlito and Justin Marks brought the complaint in October 2020, claiming they suffered emotional distress from the incident. Their lawyers maintain that the Laceys were aware the demonstrators were there to confront her and not her husband, who died Sept. 5. Lacey was criticized by Abdullah and other activists for declining to prosecute some law enforcement officers involved in fatal on-duty shootings during her two terms in office.
For several years, protesters, including members of Black Lives Matter, gathered sometimes in the hundreds outside the Hall of Justice, where Lacey’s office was located, every Wednesday to protest against Lacey, some with signs, noise amplifiers and drums, while chanting slogans such as, “Bye, Jackie” and “Jackie Lacey Must Go.”
Abdullah is a professor and former chair of the Department of Pan-African Studies at Cal State Los Angeles and a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter. The suit alleges false imprisonment by the 65-year-old Lacey.
The confrontation occurred when members of the group showed up at the couple’s Granada Hills residence the morning of March 2, 2020. The plaintiffs went to the Laceys’ home seeking to confront her for allegedly refusing to meet with them.
David Lacey opened the door after the plaintiffs rang the bell and video images show him pointing a gun and saying he would shoot if the visitors did not get off his porch.
According to Lacey’s attorneys’ court papers, the plaintiffs’ entire damages claims are for alleged mental and emotional injuries.
“Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety, and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims,” according to the court papers of Lacey’s lawyers, who have selected Glendale psychologist Arthur Asatoorian to examine the trio.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled May 30 before Judge Theresa Traber.
The encounter at the Lacey home occurred a day before Lacey — the first woman and first Black prosecutor to hold the top post since the office was created in 1850 — was forced into a runoff with former San Francisco County District Attorney George Gascón, who ultimately was elected.