The police are investigating the incident and City Council President Paul Krekorian has stood by de León, saying that he had been assaulted.
Dem Involved in Fight at Toy Giveaway
Democratic Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León became involved in an altercation with an activist on Friday night at a charity event, footage shows.
A video posted to Twitter shows de León shoving a man to the ground while at a toy giveaway at Lincoln Park in Los Angeles. The councilman claims that he was “assaulted” while activists upset with de León said he started the fight.
While at the charity event, de León said he decided to leave because protestors had shown up, and he wanted to “leave without further incident,” according to KTLA. As he departed, de León claimed that protesters had “blocked” the way out.
The activist with who de León tussled was identified as Jason Reedy, an activist with the Left-wing People’s City Council group.
De León faced angry activists earlier this year after leaked audio recordings published in October revealed offensive comments made by him during a meeting with fellow city officials behind closed doors in 2021.
“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 embattled councilman said in a statement.
De León also suggested that the incident was an attack on democracy.
“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,” he said. “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.”
An attorney for Reedy claimed that the councilman had initiated the fight, claiming video evidence backed up his claims.
“Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters initiating this assault while Mr. Reedy stands prone,” lawyer Shakeer Rahman said. “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.”
A social worker at the event told the L.A. Times that he had witnessed Reedy attempt a head butt, but that the activist had not made contact with de León.