It has been absolutely heartbreaking for me to watch the reputation of LA’s city government suffer continued disgrace by the actions of Kevin de León — first by his racist and homophobic rhetoric, then his ignoring calls to resign from the city and leaders nationwide, and now his engaging in a violent conflict with a protestor.

I don’t condone protestors making physical contact with anyone, and I don’t agree with any form of physical intimidation as a form of protest. 

But protestors are not elected officials. Those of us who are endowed with the public trust, especially in a city where that trust has been devastated, have an inviolable responsibility to de-escalate dangerous situations — and to never lash out with violence.

I have said that Kevin de León should resign immediately from the day the recording of his racist conversation was released. This incident only deepens that conviction. His continued presence on the City Council is causing severe and ongoing harm, and his apparent lack of concern for this fact is further evidence that he is unqualified to lead.

More than anything, I want the city I love so much to be able to experience opportunities for renewal and joy on the other side of this moment. As we head into a new year and a new era of leadership in City Hall, I have real faith that those opportunities are coming.