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This is the Racist Card that Got a Man Arrested at the L.A. City Council

The Los Angeles Sentinel reports on the arrest last week of one Wayne Spindler, an attorney from Encino, who has regularly attended L.A. City Council meetings and verbally harassed council people of color. From the piece by Danny J Bakewell Jr:

Spindler, who according to the California State Bar website is a licensed attorney was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department and booked in the LA County Jail May 13 for making comments and presenting notes which could be considered a hate crime during a City Council special Rules Committee meeting held in the valley on May 11. Spindler allegedly passed a speaker card to the city clerk, which contained graphic drawings of a man assumed to be Council President Herb Wesson, being hung, another man celebrating in a Ku Klux Klan mask and a cross burning. According to council members, the antics are a regular habit of Spindler’s who often attends council meetings in Klan costumes and anti-Semitic attire including Nazi Swastikas, giving the salute of the German Nazi in hail to Hitler.

“Criticism comes with the job and I can usually blow it off as part of the job,” said Wesson.

“But the often harassing and threatening comments made by Mr. Spindler have become increasingly worse over time. It has risen to the point that I have serious concerns about my safety, my family’s safety, my staff’s safety and the safety of my colleagues on the city council.”

The note which was apparently the tipping point has been reproduced below and is also available via the City Clerk's office.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 3.20.08 PM

Some have expressed surprise that Spindler could be arrested for a drawing, Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper Executive Publisher Danny Bakewell Sr. called the drawings “outrageous” and unquestionably a hate crime.

“If you paint a swastika on a person’s house that is a hate crime. If you paint a picture of a man hanging from a tree on a house that is a hate crime. It is no less offensive or hateful if you draw it on a piece of paper."

In his defense, Spindler, who has worn a Ku Klux Klan hood with a swastika on it at a city council meeting, told ABC7 that the images were not of Wesson, and that he is not a racist. In a statement, he said:

"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 was quickly released on bail in the amount of $75,000. A trial date has not been set, and as of yet charges have not been filed.

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