LOS ANGELES – Attorneys for one of three Black Lives Matter protesters suing former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her late husband after the latter pointed a gun at them outside the Lacey family home in 2020 are asking a judge to quash a subpoena for some of her teaching records at Cal State Los Angeles.
The confrontation with the Laceys occurred when members of the group showed up at the couple’s Granada Hills home early on the morning of March 2, 2020. Melina Abdullah, Dahlia Ferlito, and Justin Marks are suing the county’s former top prosecutor and her spouse, David Lacey, alleging they suffered emotional distress from seeing a firearm pointed at them.
The Los Angeles Superior Court suit filed in October 2020 alleges negligence and false imprisonment by the 65-year-old Lacey, whose husband died Sept. 5. The plaintiffs have not yet substituted David Lacey’s estate as a defendant, so his attorneys are still filing court papers in his name.
Abdullah is a tenured professor in the Pan-African Department at Cal State Los Angeles and a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter. The subpoena by David Lacey’s attorneys asks that the university produce documents related to Abdullah’s curriculum for Pan-African Studies courses regarding protesting and provoking change through various actions and behaviors.
“These documents are privacy-protected employment records which are not relevant to the action at hand and violate the plaintiff’s guaranteed right to privacy,” Abdullah’s lawyers argue in their court papers filed Monday.
A review of previous course catalogs detailed some of Abdullah’s classes met at the same time as scheduled LAPD Commission meetings, many of which she was present at. Course catalogs are publicly available documents that should be able to be produced without infringing on Abdullah’s privacy rights.
David Lacey’s lawyers have not demonstrated any attempts to obtain the records through less intrusive means, Abdullah’s lawyers further argue.
“Accordingly, the court should quash the subpoena,” Abdullah’s attorney’s state in their court papers. A hearing on their motion is scheduled Dec. 20 before Judge Theresa Traber.
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.