Holiday cheer was given the ol’ heewe-ho-ho-ho on Friday night, as members of the Los Angeles City Council were involved in a fight with an activist at a Christmas tree lighting event.
Councilman Kevin De Leon was at a toy gift and holiday tree lighting in Lincoln Park, The Los Angeles Times reported, As might be expected, there were conflicting accounts of who initiated the confrontation.
Leone said in a statement to media outlets that he was assaulted. Activists fingered De Leon as the attacker.
De Leon attended his first council meeting on Friday since a tape emerged of a highly impassioned discussion of racial issues. De Leon was one of several people on the tape, and has since resisted calls for his resignation.
two local activist organizations, RootsAction and J-Town Action & Solidarity posted a video on Twitter showing the incident between De Leon and a man identified as People’s City Council organizer Jason Ready.
De Leon’s spokesman, Pete Brown, told the Times that the council member was head-butted by Ready. He claimed that several other employees were assaulted.
De León released a statement claiming that she was “violently and physically assaulted by self-styled activists at a community holiday event, who were there to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree and to receive toys and food from families and Was for a crowd of kids.
“The escalating rhetoric is hitting fever pitch, moving from verbal threats to actual acts of violence and must end before more serious harm or loss of life occurs,” the statement said. “Violence is not free speech and has no place in politics or a democracy.”
Shakir Rahman, an attorney representing Readi, called de Leon “outrageous” in a statement to the Times on Friday night.
“The video footage clearly shows him and his supporters initiating the attack,” Rahman said. “Not only has Kevin De Leon lost all political legitimacy, his claim that he was attacked here underscores how out of touch he is with reality.”
No details were immediately available on whether charges had been filed by either party.