LOS ANGELES — Black Lives Matter protesters said the husband of Los Angeles County's district attorney pulled a gun on them during an early morning protest Monday at the prosecutor's home.
Demonstrators knocked on the front door of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey at 5:40 a.m. PT when a man they identified as her husband David Lacey opened and pointed a weapon, according to Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State Los Angeles, and protest organizer Justin Marks.
"We heard the gun cocking, and I thought I was being paranoid," Abdullah told NBC News. "But then he opened the door, leading with the gun. He saw me and lowered it, pointing it at my chest."
Marks said he too heard the weapon being locked into firing position on the other side of the door, at Lacey's home in the Granada Hills neighborhood of northwest L.A.
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"I thought it was someone dropping keys and Melina said, 'Well that doesn't sound good,'" Marks said. "There was no hello, no face, just a gun pointing out (when the door opened)."
Organizers who were there to protest the D.A. office's handling of certain cases said the home is outfitted with security cameras and anyone inside could have easily seen the 30 protesters outside.
"I said, 'Jackie Lacey has promised us a community meeting. We're having it now. Could you please ask her to come out front?'" said Abdullah, who tweeted video of the early-morning confrontation.
The armed man then ordered protesters to get off his porch, witnesses said.
"We don't know how crazy he is, we didn't know if he'd actually shoot me so we did" back up, Abdullah said. "I’m a mother of three kids and I really don’t want to get to shot."
A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman confirmed there was a call for service to the block of Lacey's listed address at 5:40 a.m. on Monday. But there were no immediate reports of a weapon being brandished, only an ongoing protest at that location, the LAPD said.
A rep for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.
Lacey, L.A. County's first black district attorney who is running for re-election, has been the target of regular protests, usually in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown L.A., over the office's handling of high-profile cases.
The office did not prosecute police officers who fatally shot unarmed black man Ezell Ford in 2014. Critics have also accused Lacey of moving too slowly against Democratic Party donor Ed Buck, who is now being prosecuted by federal authorities for allegedly supplying illegal drugs that led to the deaths of two black men.
Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles, while David K. Li and Mohammed Syed reported from New York