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No charges filed in fight between Kevin de León and activist

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office will not file criminal charges against City Councilman Kevin de León or the activist with whom he got into a physical altercation late last year at a Christmas-tree-lighting event.

Authorities decided last week not to press charges against activist Jason Reedy, who was involved in the caught-on-video kerfuffle, Reedy confirmed to The Times on Wednesday. Reedy said he learned during a telephonic hearing that there would be no charges against him or De León. The news was first reported by Knock LA reporter Jon Peltz.

“I’m relieved I’m not being charged as I was the one that was assaulted and attacked,” Reedy said. “I am absolutely disappointed to see that the city attorney did not feel the need to charge Kevin de León, but it is what it is at this point.”

The melee erupted at a Lincoln Park toy giveaway and holiday event on Dec. 9 — the same day De León infuriated protesters by making his first appearance at a City Council meeting following the leak of an audio tape that recorded De León and others making racist remarks.

Video from the event shows a Santa-hat-wearing De León being mobbed by activists — including Reedy. The activists were recording and yelling at De León, including calling him a racist. As De León attempted to exit a main room into a back area, someone pushed Reedy out of the way of the door, the video shows.

De León exited the room and tried to close the door behind him, but Reedy followed and the two stood chest to chest for a moment, Reedy with his hands up, the video shows. Crowded by others, a brief struggle began. De León grabbed Reedy and pushed him, throwing him into a table.

The councilman placed the blame on Reedy and other activists in a statement at the time, saying he was “violently and physically assaulted by self-proclaimed activists at a community holiday event.”

“The escalating rhetoric is hitting a fever pitch, transcending from verbal threats into actual acts of violence and must end before more serious harm or loss of life occurs,” the statement said. “Violence is not free speech and has no place in politics or democracy.”

De León did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the city attorney’s decision not to pursue charges. The city attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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