Caught on Camera: Councilman de León’s Xmas Tree-Lighting Brawl

A fracas at a holiday event for kids led to an aggressive protestor getting up in Kevin de León’s face—which then led to an Xmas beatdown

Embattled City Councilman Kevin de León—to be forever known as the guy who refused to resign after getting busted in the City Hall racist recording scandal—had his antics captured for all the world yet again, this time in single combat with a pushy activist who underestimated the pol’s considerable martial skills.

The member was at a Christmas tree-lighting and toy giveaway for children in Lincoln Park Friday when it all went down… Well, the handsy activist did, anyway.

In the 41-second video, de León is trailed by opponents chanting, “Resign, Kevin!” and “You’re a racist!” as he heads toward a set of doors. Among the chanting throng was a man in an olive-colored coat, Jason Reedy, an organizer with Peoples’ City Council. Reedy stood in front of de León, holding a cell phone in his face.

Big mistake.

After emerging through the doors and into a corridor, de León tries to close the exit behind him, with Reedy in immediate tow, pushing his way through. De León then turns to face his nuisance, who immediately mad-dogs the unloved councilman, putting his face as close as possible to de León’s while raising his hands above his head in a toddler’s I’m-not-touching-you stance, and apparently shouting, “Get your fucking hands offa me!”

De León, for his part, did not oblige, as Reedy—despite his protestations and baby-boy posturing—did seem, in fact, to make contact with the bitterly disliked council member, who took hold of Reedy’s lapels, easily manhandling him into the first stage of total-wuss-compliance, before taking hold of the back of the Reedy’s coat in a classic bum’s-rush maneuver, and then showing him to a couple more doors, face-first.

The last thing seen on camera is de León’s jaunty Santa cap flying off his head as he assists Reedy, vigilante-style, with his much-needed egress.

Police said the fighting continued outside, according to KTLA.

In a statement, de León said, “I decided to try to exit the event to draw the disrupters away from the attending families and children and leave without further incident. Still, we discovered Reedy and others had blocked all available exits.”

What’s more, he claims that even after he managed to exit through one set of doors, “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.”

Although de León may have been justified in administering his own brand of Hallway Justice, some might say this never would have happened if he had only resigned weeks, and weeks, ago. This theory seems not have occurred to the councilman, who added, “The escalating political rhetoric is beyond unacceptable, now turning verbal threats into physical acts of violence… In no way is violence a form of free speech and acts like these have no place in politics or democracy.”

Reedy has lawyered up, naturally. His attorney, Shakeer Rahman, says don’t you believe your lying eyes.

De León is “a disgrace” he offered in a statement of his own, claiming the councilman and his supporters started the whole thing.

“Video footage clearly shows him and his supporters initiating this assault while Mr. Reedy stands prone,” 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.”

Yeah, that’s what it underscores.

Earlier in the day, de León suffered an embarrassing, abortive attempt to attend his first in-person council meeting in nearly two months. When he walked in, three other council members walked out, the Los Angeles Times reports. Supporters and protesters both showed up to see him, with protesters shouting the proceedings down. The meeting lasted just a few minutes until a recess was called. When it resumed, de León had vanished.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.