A man was arrested during a Los Angeles City Council meeting Friday morning after protesters interrupted Councilmember Kevin de León’s presentation on Cinco de Mayo.
Samson Tafolo was arrested for assaulting a police officer and obstructing a public business, according to LAPD Sgt. Dennis Clark, who was assigned to be in charge of the building.
Since De León participated in a Secretly recorded conversations with other city leaders was made public last October, his presence on the council often brought taunts and profanity from protesters.
Some of the protesters in the room started shouting as a representative of the Mexican Consulate, standing at the front of the room next to De León, was speaking. Council President Paul Krekorian interrupted the presentation to call for the removal of the protesters, as often happens during council meetings.
As Los Angeles Police Department officers were escorting protesters out of the room, the wooden door separating the council rooms from the outside hallway suddenly slammed shut, seemingly hitting Clark in the head as someone shouted “F— LAPD.”
Video from inside the chamber shows the door closing forcefully, but it’s unclear what caused it to close like that.
Officers then rushed towards the unidentified man, who had just walked out the door, and arrested him.
“When we got him out, he slammed the door on me,” Clark said.
General Dogon, an activist with the Los Angeles Community Action Network who was present, denied that story, saying that the arrested man had merely closed the door behind him.
After a brief hiatus, De León’s presentation continued, with a costumed troupe performing a traditional Tecuanes dance on the board floor.
“The interruption of the Cinco de Mayo showcase today is shameful and disrespectful, putting the city to shame in front of foreign dignitaries from Mexico to celebrate with members of our local Poblano community. us when it was first recognized by the City Council,” De León spokesman Pete Brown said Friday afternoon.
Clark said it was the third arrest at a board meeting this year.