Black man dressed in KKK attire awarded $215,000
A black man who was tossed out of a city commission meeting in Los Angeles for wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood has been awarded $215,000.
The City Council voted Wednesday to settle a free-speech lawsuit filed by Michael Hunt.
The Venice-area resident, who is black, wore the hood and a T-shirt emblazoned with a profanity and a racial slur against African-Americans during a 2011 meeting of the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.
Hunt has worn the outfit at other city meetings to confront what he believes is government discrimination, said his lawyer, Stephen Rohde.
“He has co-opted these images and uses them to protest back against the city,” Rohde said.
At the parks commission meeting, then-President Barry Sanders told Hunt that his garb violated city rules of decorum and told him to remove the hood and “offensive signage” or be ejected.
Hunt was escorted out and cited for disturbing a public assembly but wasn’t prosecuted.
City Councilman Bernard Parks said the council decided to settle because there was a good chance it might have been forced to pay much mroe in legal fees if the case had gone to trial.
In 2009, Hunt sued the city by challenging its vending restrictions at the Venice Boardwalk where he is a vendor. He was awarded $264,286.
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