Man arrested for criminal threats, hate speech at LA City Council meeting

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A frequent and outspoken critic of Los Angeles City Hall was arrested on Wednesday after police said he made criminal threats and also used hate speech aimed at Los Angeles Council President Herb Wesson.

Attorney Wayne Spindler was arrested after he allegedly filled out a comment card with a drawing of a man hanging from a tree and also referred to Wesson, an African American, by a racial slur.

Wesson is the first African American to hold the seat of council president.

"A cross that's burning, an individual in a KKK hood. He calls me the 'N' word and has a photo of me hanging from a tree," Wesson said at the meeting.

Spindler, who has been seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood with a swastika on it at a city council meeting and said he represents immigrants fighting deportation, claimed the images were not of Wesson.

"The cross burning is the city burning down from corruption, the hood is city hall coming after us for our money and the tree is me and everybody getting lynched as taxpayers," Spindler said.

When asked why the comment card had a racial slur on it, Spindler responded, "They don't listen to us. The only way they listen to us is if we're emphatic."

Local elected officials dealt with Spindler's antics for years, but Spindler has been protected under freedom of speech.

"This is the kind of verbiage we get on a routine basis as L.A. City Council and one of the characters finally put it in writing so now we have proof that this is the kind of abuse that residents, constituents, and council members and staff take on a regular basis," Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said.

Spindler said he is not racist and does not identify with the KKK.

"This guy [Wesson] is just using this as a ploy," Spindler said. "He wants to get me and other people out of city hall because we're making a difference."

Spindler was arrested at a council meeting in 2015, but charges were never brought in the case. Spindler said he was waiting to see if charges would be brought in this most recent case.

In regards to both cases, Spindler said he intends to sue the city.
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