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City Council Meeting Cancelled Before Ku Klux Klad Man Speaks during Public Comment
Zuma Dogg speaks to the LA City Council as Mike Hunt clad in KKK apparel sits down behind him on Tuesday, July 14, 2008. Various people on and off camera are seen laughing. Hunt reappeared at today's meeting | Image taken via Channel 35
Before an African American man clad in Klu Klux Klan apparel was to speak to the Los Angeles City Council, members walked out of the room, effectively canceling the meeting because a lack of quorum, the legal limit of members needed for a meeting to take place.
The KKK member in question is Michael Hunt, an "African American Klansman and jackass-at-large," according to the Mayor Sam blog, which alleges the reaction Hunt got was what he wanted. The LA Times says Hunt recently challenged the city's vending ordinance in federal court.
Council President Eric Garcetti expressed exasperation, but held true to the law. “I want to say as a human being, I wish you wouldn’t have it on, but that is your right to keep it on. We did lose quorum because council members left, so we do not have public comment, we do not have a meeting right now.”
Of those who left included Councilman Greig Smith, Bernard C. Parks, Jan Perry and Herb Wesson, according to the Times. The latter three are the council's three African American members.
Symbolic statements brought forth by Hunt and the City Council bring up interesting discussion points. Should Hunt be able to wear whatever he wants and be protected by free speech, no matter how disgusting? Does leaving them meeting in protest of Hunt's appearance and indirectly denying him his right to public comment put the city in the targets of another lawsuit? And who was the guy at yesterday's meeting in the ski mask (photo below)? Questions, questions...
A man in a ski mask sits in the audience during the public debate about annexing a part of Van Nuys into Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009. | Photo via Channel 35