LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police in riot gear faced off with yelling protesters outside a City Hall entrance Tuesday, demanding the City Council stop its meeting until two councilmen resign for their part in a private meeting that involved crude, racist remarks.
The protest of about 50 people took place outside a door of City Hall, though the Council was meeting virtually with only the acting president and staff inside the chambers. Demonstrators chanted, “No resignations, no meeting!” Police pushed backed protesters who retreated across the street without incident.
The Council has been in upheaval for the past week after an explosive recording was leaked of a private meeting in which then-Council President Nury Martinez made crude and racist remarks, and Councilmen Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo didn’t object or joined in the offensive banter.
Martinez made racist remarks about the Black son of a white councilman and other crude comments. Those involved in the year-old meeting were all Latinos, who focused much of the discussion on scheming to protect their political power during the redrawing of Council district boundaries.
Martinez has since stepped down but de Leon and Cedillo have so far resisted widespread calls for their resignations, including from President Joe Biden.
Last week, protesters crowded into the Council chamber and angrily called for the councilmen to resign. Those complaints continued unabated during the virtual meeting Tuesday, as a long list of speakers called for the Council to suspend business until de Leon and Cedillo step down.
De Leon and Cedillo did not attend the virtual meeting.
The Associated Press