At a Christmas gathering on Friday night, an activist and a member of the Los Angeles City Council got into a brawl.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kevin de León got into a bit of a tiffy during a Lincoln Park gift exchange and Christmas tree lighting. León claimed that he had been attacked in a statement to the newspaper. However, protestors claimed that the council member had been the aggressor.
According to The Times, two local activist groups RootsAction and J-TOWN Action and Solidarity shared a video of the altercation on Twitter. It was between De León and a man identified as Jason Reedy, an organizer for the People’s City Council.
Reedy and other activists were at fault, according to De León’s administration. According to Pete Brown, Reedy elbowed a member of his staff in the face, headbutted the council member, and hit a volunteer in the arm.
According to De León’s statement to the Times, they were “violently and physically assaulted by self-proclaimed activists at a community holiday event to the dismay of a multitude of families and children who were there to celebrate a Christmas tree lighting and to receive toys and food.”
The statement said, “The escalating rhetoric is hitting a fever pitch, transcending from verbal threats into actual acts of violence and must end before more serious harm or loss of life occurs. Violence is not free speech and has no place in politics or democracy.”
De León was referred to as “a shame” by Shakeer Rahman, a lawyer for Reedy.
In a statement to the Times on Friday evening, Rahman said: “Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters initiating this assault while Mr. Reedy stands prone. Not only has Kevin de León lost all political legitimacy, his claims that he was the one attacked here simply underscores how he’s lost touch with reality.”
De León attended his first City Council meeting almost two months earlier on Friday. This was in response to a crisis involving racial statements made by political officials.