Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian said Sunday that the council might consider taking more forceful action against a small group of protesters who have disrupted meetings for several weeks demanding the resignation of Councilman Kevin de León.

“We may have to look at taking more forceful steps to ensure that the city council is not disrupted,” Krekorian told NBC4’s Conan Nolan.

“We want to make sure that people have an opportunity to speak, to fully participate in their city government. But having the opportunity to speak does not mean that you have the right to stop other people from speaking,” he added. “You don’t have the fight to shut down the city council, and many of the people who have come into the Council Chambers have the sole purpose of shutting down the council, and I won’t allow that to happen.”

Krekorian, who was elected council president earlier this month after assuming the role following Nury Martinez’s resignation for making racist remarks in the same leaked conversation that led to calls for de León to step down, did not elaborate on what those steps might be.

De León has resisted intense pressure from city colleagues, state and national elected officials and activists to resign ever since a leaked audio was released of an October 2021 conversation about redistricting that featured the councilman and others using racial slurs and blunt talk of political power grabs that has roiled the city for months.

Demonstrators have regularly shown up at the Council Chamber to chant and yell for de León’s resignation. Krekorian had often called a recess in the meetings and directed police to eject the more vociferous protesters, then resumed the meetings shortly thereafter.

The council is currently on its winter break. De León remained absent from meetings for weeks, but attempted to attend the final two meetings before the break, prompting some colleagues to walk out amid shouting by protesters.

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