Protesters disrupt De León’s Cinco de Mayo presentation during council meeting; 1 arrested

VIDEO | 00:58
One arrested during Friday’s L.A. City Council meeting

The arrest came after protesters interrupted Councilmember Kevin de León’s Cinco de Mayo presentation.


One man was arrested during a Los Angeles City Council meeting Friday morning after protesters interrupted Councilmember Kevin de León’s Cinco de Mayo presentation.

Samson Tafolo was arrested for battery on a police officer and obstructing a public business establishment, according to LAPD Sgt. Dennis Clark, who is assigned to the building.

Since De León’s participation in a secretly recorded conversation with other city leaders was made public last October, his presence in council has often brought jeers and expletives from protesters.

Several protesters in the chamber 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 protesters to be removed, as often happens during council meetings.


As Los Angeles Police Department officers were escorting protesters out of the room, the wooden door separating council chambers from the outer hallway suddenly slammed shut, appearing to hit Clark in the head, as someone yelled “F— the LAPD.”

Video from inside the chamber shows the door forcefully closing, but it’s not clear what caused it to do so.

Do you know who represents you on the L.A. City Council? Do you know how to get in touch with your councilmember? Use Shape Your L.A. to get active in your community.

Officers then rushed toward Tafolo, who had just exited through the door, and detained him.

“As we were taking him out, he slammed the door on me,” Clark said.

General Dogon, an activist with Los Angeles Community Action Network who was in attendance, pushed back on that narrative, saying the arrested man had merely closed the door behind him.

After another brief interruption, De León’s presentation continued, with a costumed troupe performing a traditional Tecuanes dance on the council floor.

“Today’s disruption of the Cinco de Mayo presentation was shameful and disrespectful, embarrassing the city in front of foreign dignitaries who traveled from Mexico to celebrate with members of our local Poblano community being recognized by the City Council for the very first time,” De León spokesperson Pete Brown said Friday afternoon.


It was the third arrest at a council meeting this year, Clark said.