Aida Ahmad and Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times report that “tempers flared” at the Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday when a councilman said he was tempted to “clock” a speaker who called out “Heil Hitler” during a public comment period.
It started when Michael Carreon, a resident of Los Angeles’ 14th council district, objected to the rules of decorum at a City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Carreon directed his comments to a few council members who, apparently, weren’t paying attention to him, and so Councilman Tom LaBonge, who was chairing the meeting, stopped him. LaBonge instructed Carreon not to address his comments to specific members, as per city rules.
Carreon, a regular at these meetings, was livid.
“The city’s going to hell in a handbasket, and you’re going to sit up there and dictate?” he said. “I’m upset, so I guess I’ll just salute you.” He raised one hand in the air in a Nazi salute, and shouted: “Heil Hitler.”
That’s when Councilman Paul Koretz, who is Jewish, stood up from his seat and said: “That’s a highly offensive thing, I’m very tempted to go over there and clock ‘im.”
You’d expect the offending Heil shouter would be carried out by security guards at that point, but a City attorney who was present at the meeting said his comments weren’t grounds for eviction.
At another point Tuesday, Matt Dowd, another frequent City Hall critic, used the F word when addressing the assembly. Soon after, the meeting was adjourned.
Conclusion: You can cry ‘Heil Hitler’ in a crowded LA City Hall, but say one F word and everybody runs home.