Embattled Councilmember Kevin De León Issues Statement After Fight With Protestor
Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León doubled down Saturday on his stance regarding the physical altercation he was involved in with a man at a holiday event in Lincoln Heights.
De León was caught on camera getting into a physical ruckus with the man, identified as Jason Reedy, while making an appearance at a holiday event at Lincoln Park in Lincoln Heights.
Since the video of the fight was posted on Friday night, a longer version of the incident has been posted.
The video, which was posted by Twitter users J-Town Action and Solidarity, shows the moments before de León starts to get physically aggressive with Reedy, who has filed a police report.
Hours before the incident, de León made his first appearance at the City Council chambers for the first time since the fallout following the release of a racist conversation involving the embattled councilman and two other councilmembers.
The Los Angeles Police Department has announced that it is investigating the altercation between de León and Reedy, according to City News Service.
Both parties involved are accusing each other of assault, with de León stating that himself, his staff members in attendance and several bystanders were the victims of the altercation.
De León’s Communications Director Pete Brown issued the following statement regarding Friday’s altercation:
“A group of so-called ‘activists’ – who have been harassing my staff and me for more than a year – cornered and physically assaulted me, a staff member, and a volunteer during a holiday event on Friday evening.
Jason Reedy and his accomplices started by shouting obscenities and disrupting a community toy giveaway and tree lighting ceremony already underway. I decided to try to exit the event to draw the disrupters away from the attending families and children and leave without further incident. Still, we discovered Reedy and others had blocked all available exits.
Once we were able to push open a door and try to get out, Reedy launched a pelvic thrust, followed by a headbutt to my forehead. My response, in defense of myself, was to push him off of me. In the ensuing struggle, Reedy struck me in the face with a closed fist, violently elbowed a female staff member, and injured a volunteer in front of horrified parents and children.
The escalating political rhetoric is beyond unacceptable, now turning verbal threats into physical acts of violence. It’s a dangerous pattern that must end before more serious harm or loss of life occurs. Leaders must collectively step up to curb rising hostilities towards staff and elected officials. In no way is violence a form of free speech and acts like these have no place in politics or democracy.”
No arrests were made when LAPD officers arrived to the scene.
source : cbsnews