Protester Arrested at LA City Council, Charged With Disturbing Meeting


Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A protester was arrested at Friday's City Council meeting after he began shouting about Councilman Kevin de León during a special presentation in which Mayor Karen Bass and consuls general representing several countries were in the chamber in honor of Black History Month.

Phillip Kim was charged with obstructing a public business establishment and disturbing a public meeting, both misdemeanors, according to LAPD.

Shortly after Bass spoke, Kim and two other protesters began shouting with some comments directed at de León, whose refusal to resign from the council following his participation in a leaked racist conversation has led to regular protests during council meetings for several months. De León was in the chamber on Friday and has been attending meetings since mid-January after a lengthy absence when the audio was leaked last October.

LAPD Public Information Officer Warren Moore told City News Service that Kim "refused to comply" after being ejected from the meeting by Council President Paul Krekorian.

Krekorian, who repeatedly referred to Kim as "Mr. Chung" when ordering him to leave, told Kim to "sit down and be silent" several times before telling officers to "remove him from the meeting immediately" as Kim kept shouting. Krekorian did not appear to ask for Kim to be arrested.

De León watched the entire exchange from his seat. The other two protesters were also ejected from the meeting, but were not arrested. The presentation continued after they left the chamber.

Krekorian has regularly ejected protesters attempting to disrupt meetings since he took over the council presidency last October, and has applied council rules prohibiting protesters from attending the following meeting if they are ejected.

Usually, protesters slowly walk out of the chamber with officers surrounding them. Friday's incident appears to be the first arrest made during a council meeting related to the City Hall protests.

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