By Felipe Vera
This past Tuesday, the California Attorney General’s office charged David Lacey, husband of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, with three misdemeanor counts of assault, after he pointed a gun at several Black Lives Matter protesters in March.
District Attorney Lacey has long been a target of anti-police activists and community members due to her refusal to prosecute or indict any police involved in killings. Since her term began in 2012, there have been over 600 deaths as a result of officer involved shootings committed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), however no indictments have been made against any of them.
Although David Lacey’s arraignment is scheduled for August 13, he is not in custody. On top of this, the misdemeanor charges demonstrate how the state does not and will not enforce its laws evenly. This is of no surprise considering that Lacey himself was a former investigative auditor within the Los Angeles’s district attorney office.
Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University-LA, stated on Tuesday, “Even though we call for justice, we don’t expect justice. We have very little faith in the system.”
Abdullah is absolutely right to not expect justice from this system. Those who are part of the ruling class, the state, or its repressive apparatus are rarely ever charged, and when they are, they receive lenient sentences and are granted certain privileges that most incarcerated people could not dream of. Justice should not to be expected out of the system which is predicated upon violent oppression and exploitation.
Only people’s justice, where the people under revolutionary leadership take matters into their own hands and exercise their verdict on enemies, can show what justice in the interest of the people actually looks like. This will not and cannot be achieved through the confines of the capitalist system.
Although many community members and activists want Lacey out of her position and her husband to receive felony charges, people’s justice will not come about through the ballot box. Any person who fills her seat will still serve the very same system that carries out this indiscriminate violence against working class communities and props up the old order. The people themselves must carry out people’s justice, and step-by-step, crush the old society and build the new.
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