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Embattled LA councilman attends city meeting after scandal


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Embattled Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León attended his first City Council meeting Friday in nearly two months since a scandal broke over racist remarks by elected officials.

Three council members walked out after de León showed up, including Mike Bonin, whose Black son was called a “monkey” by former council President Nury Martinez in a meeting that de Leon attended last year.

Bonin tweeted Friday that de León was a “vile racist” who should resign and said he left the council chamber along with Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Nithya Raman.

Dozens of people showed up to support de León, while others protested his appearance and shouted for him to leave. Police removed two men over concerns a fight could break out.

After a few chaotic minutes, a 45-minute recess was called and de León wasn’t in his chair when the session resumed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It’s the first time de León has appeared at a meeting a recording surfaced in October of Martinez, outgoing Councilman Gil Cedillo, de León and a labor union leader participating in a closed-door meeting in which racist language was used to mock colleagues while the participants schemed to protect Latino political strength in council districts.

Martinez resigned. Cedillo lost a June election and his last day in office is Monday.

The Associated Press has been unable to reach de León for comment. He has apologized but said he has no plans to resign, despite calls to do so from colleagues in the nation’s second-most populous city, and prominent Democrats including Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden. He has two more years in office and represents predominantly Latino neighborhoods east of downtown.

Protesters have attended meetings regularly since the scandal broke.

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