Video shows L.A. Councilmember Kevin de León in fight with activist

Hours after Kevin de León drew the wrath of protesters with his first personal appearance in two months at a Los Angeles City Council meeting, he was involved in a fight with an activist on Friday night, an altercation that was at least partly based on video was captured.

The councilor said in a statement that he was attacked. Activists said De León was the attacker.

De León was in Lincoln Park giving away toys and lighting a Christmas tree when the incident occurred, his office told the Times.

A video posted on Twitter by two local activist organizations – RootsAction and J-TOWN Action and Solidarity – shows a brief segment of an altercation between De León and a man identified in the description as Jason Reedy, an organizer of the People’s City Council.

The video, which runs in slow motion, shows the councilor in a hallway with other people behind him. De León pushes Reedy onto a table before grabbing Reedy again and forcing him down a hallway or door.

The 10-second video clip shows no other part of Friday night’s incident.

In a statement, De León said that he, a staff member and a volunteer “were violently and physically assaulted at a community holiday event by self-proclaimed activists, to the horror of scores of families and children who were there to celebrate a Christmas tree lighting.” and to obtain toys and food.”

“The escalating rhetoric is reaching a climax, moving from verbal threats to actual acts of violence, and must end before more serious damage or death occurs,” the statement said. “Violence is not freedom of expression and has no place in politics or democracy.”

A man with a baby in a sling on his stomach speaks into a microphone on a lectern

Jason Reedy speaks during Friday’s city council meeting.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

In a statement to The Times Friday night, Shakeer Rahman, an attorney representing Reedy, called De León “a disgrace.”

“Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters launching this attack while Mr. Reedy is prone,” Rahman said. “Not only has Kevin de León lost all political legitimacy, his claim that he was the one who was attacked here simply underscores how he has lost touch with reality.”

De León’s office said Reedy and other activists present were to blame.

Pete Brown, a De León spokesman, said the councilor was hit in the head, a staff member was elbowed in the face and a volunteer was punched in the arm.

No headbutts were captured in the video, which Brown said begins after the performance.

Before the video started, De León was on a stage at the venue when protesters walked in, the spokesman said. He tried to leave but was followed by activists who, according to Brown, were blocking the exits.

Authorities have confirmed little about the incident and have not identified any parties involved.

Officers were called to the 3500 block of Valley Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. to report a major fight involving eight possible suspects, said Officer Drake Madison, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

The suspects fled when officers arrived, Madison said. Officers picked up a victim’s account.

Firefighters were called to the scene to examine an adult man, but the man was not taken to a hospital, said Nicholas Prange, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

David Zahniser, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-09/video-los-angeles-councilmember-kevin-de-leon-fight-activist Video shows L.A. Councilmember Kevin de León in fight with activist

Alley Einstein

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