LA City Council Meeting Erupts in Chaos as Councilman Kevin de León Takes His Seat (Video)

Los Angeles City Council meeting erupts in chaos over Kevin de Leon (Credit: YouTube/@CBSLA

A Los Angeles City Council meeting descended into chaos Tuesday, when embattled Councilman Kevin de León entered the chambers sparking anger from protesters.

Demonstrators began heckling as soon as the meeting got underway, prompting City Clerk Holly L. Wolcott to plead with the crowd to “stop disrupting” or she would “clear the chamber.”

During the public comments section, one man described de León as “a parasite, who is a racist.”

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Other residents voiced support for the councilman, who was heard in October on a leaked audio recording of a 2021 private meeting that included racist and offensive remarks. Despite repeated calls for him to step down, de León has refused to give up his seat.

At Tuesday’s meeting, some residents said during public comments that removing de León would harm the Latino community in his district — which has a large immigrant population.

“We want him to continue doing his work,” one man said in Spanish. “He must stay in his seat.”

Another man expressed frustration about an altercation between the councilman and community activist Jason Reedy of the People’s City Council on Dec. 9, that was caught on tape at a toy giveaway. “You’re a racist,” Reedy told de León before the two began tussling. The councilman said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that he was assaulted. But activists countered the councilman was the aggressor.

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During Tuesday’s council meeting, one de León supporter lashed out at Reedy and others he said are “not from” the councilman’s district — for disrupting a holiday tradition and upsetting small children. The man called for a summit between the city’s Black and Brown residents. “We should have a committee with Browns and Blacks and see how we can straighten this thing out,” the man said.

Kevin de León arrived at Tuesday’s meeting late. As he sat down in front of his nameplate, protesters began shouting for him to leave, with some chanting, “Arrest de León!” Some fellow councilmembers even walked out in response to de León’s appearance. A recess was called and de León eventually exited the room.

Eventually, the council approved new Mayor Karen Bass’ declaration of a state of emergency on homelessness in the city, where about 42,000 people live on the streets.

As for de León, he has refused to resign since the leaked audio surfaced online.

The longtime politician was caught on the recording with former Council President Nury Martinez, Councilman Gil Cedillo, and a union official plotting to redistrict parts of the city to consolidate Latino power and disenfranchise Black residents.