Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey holds a big lead over her challengers after Tuesday’s primary election, despite a string of negative headlines after her husband pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters the day before the election.
According to the county clerk’s office, Lacey was leading her two challengers Wednesday morning with 50.69% of the vote. Former San Francisco prosecutor George Gascón had 26.83% and public defender Rachel Rossi was in third place with 22.47%. If no candidate gets more than 50% after the final count, there will be a runoff in November.
“I am deeply grateful to the hundreds of thousands of voters who cast their ballots to advance policies that protect victims, prioritize mental health treatment and keep L.A. County safe,” Lacey said in a statement after the vote.
The good news for the incumbent came Tuesday night, just one day after her husband pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the couple’s home.
Video recorded by the unarmed protesters showed David Lacey standing in the doorway of the house, holding a gun and saying, “Get off of my porch. I will shoot you … We’re calling the police right now.”
#BREAKING This morning Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s husband pulled a gun out on Black Lives Matter activists who protested his wife in front of their house. @BLMLA pic.twitter.com/wnCFMMvaWV
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) March 2, 2020
During a news conference Monday, Lacey apologized on her husband’s behalf, but also criticized protesters for what she described as repeated harassment and threats.
The demonstration was held to protest Lacey’s refusal to meet with black activists to discuss her reluctance to prosecute officers involved in deadly police shootings, and her tough-on-crime strategies, including an aggressive pursuit of the death penalty.
But judging by the primary results, Lacey’s crackdown on criminals has strong support among voters.
Lacey’s campaign may have also gotten a boost from her lengthy interview in the recently released Netflix docuseries The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, about eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez who was tortured for months, shot with a BB gun, and beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend.
The six-part docuseries, released Feb. 26, also included interviews with Gabriel’s teachers and others in his life who reported the abuse to Child Protective Services, but nothing was done to remove him from his Palmdale home.
After aggressive prosecutions by Lacey’s office, Gabriel’s mother Pearl Fernandez was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2013. Her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was sentenced to death.
Lacey also took the unusual step of prosecuting social workers who ignored repeated reports of abuse.