By Jack Sandmeyer
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilperson Nithya Raman has called for the resignation of her colleague, Councilmember Kevin de León, after the former influential state lawmaker’s recent physical conflict with a protester last Friday evening.
While participating in local toy giveaway in Lincoln Heights, de León was approached by political activist, Jason Reedy, who urged the councilmember to resign his position because of his now public comments of homophobic and racist nature.
The 10-second video that has spiraled through social media shows the encounter between the two men which resulted in de León apparently pulling Reedy down onto a table before forcing him into the side of a wall, according to some witnesses.
However, another video appears to show the activist with his arms up in the direction of the local lawmaker. De León claims Reedy swung at him.
Police took battery complaints from both individuals but no one was arrested.
Following the actions of de León, Councilperson Raman expressed genuine concern regarding the lawfulness of the Los Angeles City Council official “first by his racist and homophobic rhetoric, then his ignoring calls to resign from the city and leaders nationwide, and now his engaging in a violent conflict with a protestor.”
“Protestors are not elected officials. “Those of us who are endowed with the public trust, especially in a city where that trust has been devastated, have an inviolable responsibility to de-escalate dangerous situations — and to never lash out with violence,” argued Raman.
In response to calls for resignation, de León’s office maintains that Reedy and his supporters were the sole initiators of the conflict and that de León still has no plans to resign anytime soon.
Despite the councilperson’s claim, Raman has made her thoughts clear, charging, “I have said that Kevin de León should resign immediately from the day the recording of his racist conversation was released. This incident only deepens that conviction.”
Following the incident, de León attended an LA City Council meeting Saturday morning, his first appearance since the release of his controversial conversation between fellow city councilmembers Nury Martinez and Gil Sedillo.