Los Angeles activist Najee Ali has criticized Black Lives Matter leader Melina Abdullah, saying her recent protest outside L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s home was “one of the dumbest and [most] irresponsible acts of activism in Los Angeles history.”
Lacey is running for a third term in office. On the morning of March 2 — the day before the primary election — Black Lives Matter activists gathered for a 5 a.m. protest outside her house.
In a column for the Los Angeles Wave newspaper, Ali — CEO of Project Islamic Hope — said the activists had no business at Lacey’s private residence.
“Now I don’t support any homeowner answering the door and pointing a gun at protesters, but I also don’t support anyone harassing someone at their home at 5:30 in the morning,” he wrote. “As much as I detest Lacey’s policies with her support of the death penalty and failure to prosecute law enforcement officers for shooting unarmed African-American young men, I certainly don’t support anyone coming onto someone’s private property and harassing them.”
He went on to accuse Black Lives Matter LA members of a pattern of intimidating public figures.
“Black Lives Matter wants to portray its members as peaceful, but the facts are Abdullah and other Black Lives Matter members and supporters have engaged in several public acts of intimidation of city and religious leaders in recent years,” Ali said.
Video recorded by the unarmed protesters, which has since gone viral, showed Lacey’s husband David standing in the doorway, holding a gun and saying, “Get off of my porch. I will shoot you … We’re calling the police right now.”
Lacey held an emergency news conference hours after the incident. She apologized for her husband’s behavior, but said BLM activists have repeatedly harassed and threatened her.
In a March 7 statement on social media, Abdullah said BLM can’t “just be polite” when Lacey supports the death penalty, refuses to prosecute officers involved in deadly police shootings, and won’t meet with the activists.
“585 people killed by police in LA County since Lacey took office. She won’t prosecute,” Abdullah said about Lacey. “We’ve had small group meetings, sent letters, called, petitioned and demonstrated outside her office for 2 1/2 years.” The activist added that she has “3 children to protect.”
Still, Najee Ali believes the protest and ensuing media coverage may have helped Lacey’s campaign, instead of hurting her.
“It gave Lacey valuable free airtime on all the news channels who covered her press conference live the day before the election and without question Lacey got the sympathy votes and anyone who was still undecided,” he wrote.
As previously reported, Lacey is leading her two challengers after the March 3 primary. She needs 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff in November.
According to the county clerk’s office, Lacey currently has exactly 50% of the vote. Former San Francisco prosecutor George Gascón has 27.44% and public defender Rachel Rossi is in third place with 22.56%.