San Diego Superior Court.
San Diego Superior Court. Photo by Chris Stone

A man who fired a gun at a demonstration outside San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s home was sentenced Thursday to two years probation and ordered to spend six months in custody.

Lonnie James Crawford, 38, pleaded guilty in June to a felony count of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner for firing at least one round in the air on Aug. 30, while a group of protesters were demonstrating outside Gloria’s home to challenge the city’s homelessness policies.

According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Crawford drove his truck through the crowd, got into an argument with protesters, then entered an apartment building. He later returned with a gun and fired at least one shot, though no one was struck.

Prosecutors filed charges against Crawford in January.

Local activist Tasha Williamson, who was at the Aug. 30 protest, said at Crawford’s sentencing hearing that after driving through the crowd, he told protesters, “Wait right here, I have something for you,” then went into his apartment.

When he emerged with the gun, she said he threatened to shoot protesters in the face.

After the hearing, Williamson decried how the case was handled, calling it an example of racial bias that favored Crawford, who is white.

“I would have liked for them to charge him the way they charge Black and brown men every day in this court building,” she said.

City News Service