Blogs Columnists Najee's Notes

NAJEE’S NOTES: Black Lives Matter may have helped, not hurt, Lacey

Black Lives Matter’s L.A. Chapter leader Melina Abdullah may have helped Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey win re-election with one of the dumbest and irresponsible acts of activism in Los Angeles history.

On March 2, a day before the primary election, Abdullah led a crowd of about 30 Black Lives Matter activists in a 5 a.m. protest outside of Lacey’s home in Granada Hills. Lacey is seeking a third term as the Los Angeles County district attorney and was locked in what appeared to be a tight race between challengers George Gascon, the former District Attorney of San Francisco, and Rachel Rossi, a former federal public defender.

Both challengers to Lacey have campaigned tirelessly for months as progressive reformers and one of them seemed positioned to at least force Lacey, a two-term incumbent, into a November runoff.

But, in a video that went viral nationwide and was breaking news across national media, Abdullah took the protest from public property onto the private property of Lacey and walked up to the front porch, ringing Lacey’s doorbell at 5:30 in the morning.

Lacey’s husband, David, opened the door and demanded that Abdullah and the other protesters get off his porch and pointed a gun at them to emphasize his point.

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. 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 at 5:30 in the morning.

A man has a right to defend his home and family. I don’t own a weapon but if anyone came to my home to harass me, my first concern would be for the safety of my family. And I would use whatever legal means at my disposal to protect them and get rid of someone on my property.

As much as I hate to admit it, I do understand Lacey’s husband’s perspective. 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.

In October 2015, Abdullah and other members stormed the sanctuary of Holman United Methodist Church at a townhall meeting with guest speaker Mayor Eric Garcetti and attempted to snatch the microphone from Pastor Kelvin Saul, who didn’t budge an inch to protesters in his pulpit.

As we escorted the mayor to the safety of his car, a Black Lives Matter member jumped on the hood of the mayor’s car and began pushing his supporters.

The following week, Pastor Xavier Thompson, then the president of the Baptist Ministers Conference, called a press conference outside a South L.A. church surrounded by every major religious leader and civic leader in South L.A. demanding an apology from Black Lives Matter for the threats and attacks against Pastor Saul and Mayor Garcetti.

Abdullah immediately refused to apologize.

Black Lives Matter LA, under her leadership, then began protests outside the Getty Mansion, the private residence of Mayor Garcetti and his family, terrorizing the mayor’s wife and child. The mayor’s wife was in disbelief and worried about her daughter’s emotional and physical safety and wondered why they would come to her private residence as opposed to protesting her husband at City Hall.

In 2017, a judge granted a restraining order against Black Lives Matter activist Trevor Ferguson who had been stalking Matt Johnson, who was serving as president of the Los Angeles Police Commission. Ferguson not only came to Johnson’s residence harassing him and his family, he came to his law office threatening Johnson.

Johnson, who is African-American and a high profile lawyer who’s celebrity clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ice Cube and Serena and Venus Williams to name a few, was doing incredible work on the commission with new changes in policies that were helping to reform the LAPD. Instead of supporting him, Black Lives Matter chose to stalk and threaten his safety.

It’s a shame that Abdullah continues to ruin the brand and image of Black Lives Matter LA. That cheap publicity stunt Abdullah and her group pulled outside Lacey’s home backfired. It changed the entire narrative of the campaign and portrayed Lacey as the victim and Black Lives Matter as the villains.

It gave Lacey valuable free airtime on all the news channel 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.

That gave Lacey enough votes that she may have won the election outright March 3, avoiding a November runoff with Gascon. We won’t know for sure until all of the votes are counted.

If Black Lives Matter really was sincere about getting rid of Lacey, they should have been organizing voters in the community to vote her out of office as other activists were doing.