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Struggling Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de Leon battles activist at holiday event

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Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de Leon is back in hot water after battling social justice organizer Jason Reedy at a holiday event on Friday night.

The Leon council member had made his first appearance at a Los Angeles City Council meeting two months earlier today. He, former city council speaker Nury Martinez, outgoing council member Gil Cedillo and a local union leader were caught on a leaked audio tape making racist remarks, disparaging co-workers and planning to consolidate Latino political power in Los Angeles.

Ms Martinez has since stepped down, while council member Cedillo, who lost an election in June, will step down on Monday. Leon’s council member apologized but did not resign.

Now the Leon council member and activists have released their own versions of what happened on Friday night.

“A group of so-called ‘militants’ – who have been harassing me and my staff for over a year – cornered and physically assaulted me, a staff member and a volunteer at a holiday event on Friday night “said the council member of Leon. statement, posted on Twitter, begins.

The Leon council member then alleges that Mr Reedy and other activists shouted obscenities and, when the Leon council member tried to leave, blocked exits.

From there, according to the Leon council member’s statement, “Reedy launched a pelvic thrust, followed by a headbutt to my forehead…In the ensuing struggle, Reedy punched me in the face with a clenched fist, violently elbowed a female staff member and injured a volunteer in front of horrified parents and children.

Activist groups RootsAction and J-TOWN Action have since released a 35-second clip, which they say depicts the entire altercation.

“Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters launching this assault as Mr. Reedy lies prone. Not only has Kevin de León lost all political legitimacy, but his claims that he was the one attacked here just underscores how out of touch he has been with reality,” Mr Reedy’s lawyer said, Shakeer Rahman, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Describing Mr. Reedy’s version of events, Mr. Rahman told the Los Angeles Times that “Mr. Reedy was critical of Kevin de León’s political record and echoed widespread demands for his resignation.” De León’s supporters then initiated physical contact by pushing him, and de León grabbed Mr. Reedy.

Current Los Angeles City Council Speaker Paul Krekorian, who previously called for de Leon to step down during the racist fracas and who escorted de Leon out of the council meeting amid a chorus of protests earlier on Friday, said denounced the incident.

“No matter what differences we may have with elected officials or our fellow citizens, violence like this is completely unacceptable,” City Council Speaker Krekorian said in a statement to the LA Times.



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