Man Arrested For Racist And Threatening Note Targeting City Council President
A man known for his offensive antics at Los Angeles City Council meetings was arrested for leaving a menacing note for Council President Herb Wesson. The note calls Wesson a racist epithet and has a drawing of a body hanging from a tree.At a special meeting for a city council committee in Van Nuys on May 11, Wayne Spindler of Encino turned in a public-comment card on which he drew a burning cross, a tree with a body hanging from it, and a cartoon figure in a Ku Klux Klan hood holding a noose and a sign that reads "Herb = N—." On the backside he wrote in large letters, "F— -U HERB." Two days later Spindler was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, according to City News Service.
Spindler also submitted another card that simply read, "F-U-Herb." Both are signed "Wayne from ENCINO" and available for viewing on the city clerk's office website.
(Via the office of the Los Angeles City Clerk)
"Criticism comes with the job and I can usually blow it off as part of the job," Wesson told the Los Angeles Sentinel. "But the often harassing and threatening comments made by Mr. Spindler have become increasingly worse over time." City council members told the Sentinel that Spindler is known to show up to meetings in a Klan hood, make Nazi salutes and say racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic statements.
City Council meetings are often frequented by members of the public who use the public comment section to make offensive and profane statements from the podium. In 2014 the city settled with a Venice resident who sued, claiming his First Amendment rights were violated when he was kicked out of a committee meeting for wearing a Klan hood.
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents District 8 in South L.A. and is also black, told the L.A. Times that he avoids being alone in City Hall and advises his staff members to take precautions. "You turn a corner and one of these guys is standing there—you don't know what you're going to get," he told the Times.
Wesson addressed the note during the May 11 meeting for the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhood Committee. "I just want to go on the record, where it relates to Mr. Spindler," Wesson can be heard saying on the audio recording before describing the drawings. "So I just want to go on record to make sure that the city attorney's office knows that this idiot has done what he's done. Not man enough to say that, to come up to my face and say something like that."
Spindler can be heard responding from the audience and Wesson orders officers to escort Spindler from the meeting. It is unclear from the audio whether Spindler actually leaves.
"I am quite embarrassed that Wayne Spindler is one of my constituents," Councilman Paul Koretz told the Sentinel. Koretz represents District 5, which includes Encino.
Warning: some readers may find the below image disturbing.
The public-comment card filled out by Wayne Spindler. (Via the office of the Los Angeles City Clerk)