Kevin De León, a Councilmember, Was Involved in a Fight at a Neighbourhood Christmas Gathering

Kevin De León, a Councilmember: In a physical brawl at a Lincoln Heights holiday party on Friday night, Councilmember Kevin de León got involved. In a statement, the councilmember claimed that “this evening a staff member, volunteer, and I were violently and physically assaulted by self-proclaimed activists at a community holiday event,” much to the dismay of a large number of families and children who had gathered to celebrate a Christmas tree lighting and receive toys and food.

A tweet went viral on Friday night showing De León physically attacking a community organiser. The councilman and his supporters, however, denied this. A representative for De León said that the councilman was speaking at 6:30 p.m. when a group of roughly six persons came up to him on stage.

Kevin De León
Kevin De León

De León was attempting to leave the stage with a mother and her baby when he was surrounded by the crowd. One of the group members allegedly headbutted De León, setting off a fight between the two guys. The LAPD has stated that they arrived at the scene after getting a call about a “big group fight.” The authorities have stated that when the cops arrived, a man was being attended to by paramedics for “body pain.” Supposedly, both males reported battery to the police.

Jason Reedy, an activist with the People’s City Council, can be seen in the new footage going backwards in front of De León with his phone shoved in his face. Reedy has shoved aside as the councilman makes his way to the door. Reedy follows De León in and raises his hands as he faces the councilman when De León enters the room.

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The initial footage was posted on Friday night, and it shows a fight breaking out at that time. In the clip, we see De León grab Reedy and shove him against a table as onlookers gather around them. De León told reporters that a “group of persons came in… shouting and screaming” on the evening of the event.

He claims that as he tried to leave, the door was locked in his face. “What is not captured, obviously, in the video is his thrusting his pelvis into me while I was up against the wall, and then he headbutted me in the forehead,” De León claimed. De León continued, describing how he was struck twice “across the face” after grabbing Reedy and pushing him around the corner.

Moreover, he claims that his chief of staff, Jennifer Barraza, was hit in the face with an elbow when she tried to interfere. De León has indicated that he will be filing charges against Reedy. Reedy told CBS reporters on Saturday that the altercation left him with neck and back problems. The councilman’s office released a statement regarding the situation on Saturday.

An attorney for Reedy released the following statement on Saturday:

“Kevin de Leon is a disgrace. Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters initiating this assault while Mr. Reedy stands with his hands up. Not only has Kevin de Leon lost all political legitimacy, his claims that he was the one attacked here simply underscores how he’s lost touch with reality.

Kevin de Leon and his supporters assaulted Mr. Reedy for voicing criticism of Kevin de Leon at a public event, echoing the widespread demands for him to resign. De Leon’s supporters initiated physical contact by shoving him, and De Leon himself grabbed Mr. Reedy. Mr. Reedy had his hands up and did not initiate physical contact with anyone. Mr. Reedy has reported the assault to LAPD.”

The statement also refers to De León’s interview with reporters on Friday night as “rambling” and says that it “included assertions that Mr Reedy or others instigated physical contact, initiated a fight, or locked exit doors.”

Kevin de León, the controversial politician who was absent for months after the release of a racist chat he had with two other councilmembers, returned to City Council chambers on Friday. Before further catastrophic harm or loss of life occurs, “the increasing rhetoric must halt,” de León’s spokesperson stated. The use of violence is not protected by the First Amendment and has no place in a democratic society.

After learning of the incident, Council President Paul Krekorian issued a statement, which read:

“This evening, Councilmember Kevin De León, a member of his staff and a volunteer were physically attacked by people who disrupted a community holiday event to call for his resignation. This kind of crime is intolerable in a free society, and the incident will be vigorously investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

No matter what disputes we may have with elected officials or our fellow citizens, violence like this is completely unacceptable. In a free society political disagreements are unavoidable, and passionate discussion is necessary, but violence discredits the cause that employs it.

This city has endured horrendous division and toxicity in recent months. We need to reject hatred in all of its forms, and we need to reject the atmosphere of intimidation, bullying and threats that have become all too commonplace in this city and across the country. Whatever position each of us takes on the controversies of the day, we need to reject violent words and especially violent acts, and we need to start treating each other with the same respect we want others to show us even when we disagree.”

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